Oakton dancer competes abroad 2023
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Oakton dancer competes abroad 2023

Simon Tischler started dancing hip-hop, jazz, and tap at 3. He started ballet at 5. Tischler, 16, is going to a top ballet competition.

Jackson, Miss. hosts the USA International Ballet Competition every four years. 17 nations competed this year. Audition recordings choose dancers. Each entrant must submit three short programs. Most dancers polish these variants for the first round.

Tischler competes in junior men. That group has 20 15–18-year-olds this year. Three dance rounds will determine the medalists. To reach round three, dancers create six routines. The two-week program includes various master seminars with famous visitors. Past dancers have won apprenticeships and corporate contracts. Scholarships and cash awards total $200,000.

Tischler added, “Although they’re called competitions, and they’re formatted as competitions, and It can be a very competitive environment, I’d say it’s almost just for yourself to be seen by all these amazing judges and people watching. Dance is mostly self-competition. Painting inside dancing is the major focus. Like body painting. You’re creating a movement, not competing in a sport.”

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When he was cast as Fritz in “The Nutcracker,” Tischler knew he wanted to dance.

“Ballet West auditioned at the Kennedy Center for the Nutcracker in 2019. Tischler stated they were auditioning young ballet dancers for the party scene with Clara and Fritz. “I played Fritz, the biggest role a young boy can get. I was thrilled to perform in the Kennedy Center Opera House with such talented dancers. Wow, I can do this. I can make a living doing what I love.

He’s not a typical American high school student. Online classes, hour-long travels to Bethesda, and CityDance Conservatory practice fill his days. He sometimes finishes class around 9 p.m. The conservatory prepares young dancers for ballet careers. Tischler thanks ballet instructor Stanislav Issaev for his accomplishments. CityDance Conservatory had three USA IBC dancers this year.

Tischler accepts missing some American rites of passage. Dance and friends replace prom. Friends he hangs out with to eat and mess about like other teens. Tischler regrets one thing.

A ballet school taught me one class. Tischler remarked, “I loved it, but as a young boy, I didn’t want to say that because I didn’t think it was cool.” “I thought guys couldn’t do it.” He now sees differently. “I do lots of cool things. It’s a perpetual game of improving. This life is fantastic. I wish I hadn’t doubted it when I was younger. I adore ballet and dance.”

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