The Erma Weil Dance Scholarship was established with Ballet San Jose to honor my grandmother who danced until she was 95 years old. Hopefully we will all be so lucky to follow in her footsteps! One exceptional student receives the scholarship every year.
This past weekend, we celebrated 5 years of Erma Weil Dance Scholars. It was very special to meet the winners and their families and then see them dance so beautifully on stage. Their technique and artistry were breathtaking. The winners in chronological order are Audrey Steinbach (2009), Angela Ma (2010), Kaitlin Estepa (2011), Jessica Wu (2012), and Brittany Woo (2013).
Watch Jessica Wu perform a variation from Le Corsaire. My grandmother would be beyond thrilled.
We chose Ballet San Jose for the scholarship because I grew up in the Bay Area, and my parents took me religiously to see “The Nutcracker” and other ballets at the Center for Performing Arts. My grandmother Erma and I used to love to spend afternoons at the ballet together. Dancing was also a big part of my life growing up. After being captivated by “The Red Shoes” at age 5, I enrolled in ballet class and danced until age 25. It has been an honor to support the next generation of young classical dancers.
Ballet San Jose had some exciting news to report this week, announcing that the internationally-acclaimed Principal Dancer from American Ballet Theatre, Jose Manuel Carreno, will be joining the Company as Artistic Director this fall. Carreno thrilled Ballet SJ audiences in Silicon Valley this past season with his performance as the dashing Basilio in Don Quixote. Read more about Jose Manuel Carreno's brilliant career here. The amazing Raymond Rodriguez will continue on with Ballet SJ as Associate Artistic Director. I look forward to seeing you at the ballet! www.balletsj.org