Edwards dancer accepted to Rock School | VailDaily.com

Edwards dancer accepted to Rock School

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado

EDWARDS, Colorado ” An Edwards teen has been accepted into a prestigious dance boarding school in Philadelphia.

Alison Caspersen, 16, will attend the Rock School for Dance Education beginning this fall.

Although more than 100 dancers auditioned for the year-long program, just 40 were accepted, Rock School officials said.

Dancers who attend the Rock School have gone on to join major dance companies like the New York City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and Houston Ballet.

For Caspersen, the program offers a chance to take her dancing to the next level.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

“I want to become better and stronger as a dancer, learn a lot,” she said. “I’d like to see what other disciplines they have, like if they have jazz or modern, and maybe different styles of ballet.”

Caspersen will stay in dorms in Philadelphia and take a mix of ballet and academic courses like honors’ English, college-level Spanish and physics. School officials say her strong academic record and technical dance ability made her stand out.

Caspersen has been dancing since she was 4. She is a member of the Vail Youth Ballet Company and has studied with the Vail Valley Academy of Dance in Edwards for 12 years.

Anne Powell, owner of the Vail Valley Academy of Dance, said Caspersen has a high capacity for hard work and a deep love of the art. The Rock School will open up “huge opportunities” for the teen, she said.

“The teachers are just phenomenal, so she has this opportunity to study with the best of the best and to be with kids that are looking for this type of career, and to test herself against that group,” Powell said.

Rock School Dean Alison Staplin said attending a specialty school can help aspiring dancers to balance their dance lessons with academics.

“The high school years are really formidable years for dancers … The window and the opportunity for dance starts when you’re fairly young, so by 17 or 18 most students are looking to be accepted into dance companies,” she said.

Yet even highly trained youths face one in 10 odds of joining a dance company, she said.

Caspersen dreams of being one of them.

“I’d love to get accepted into one of the major companies in either the United States or wherever,” Caspersen said. “I’d love to be a principal with them. But, I don’t know, I have a long way to go.”

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

Support Local Journalism