Ballet Master Hiroto Saito has been dancing with CBJ since 2007 and teaches and coaches dance students all around the world. Every year dance students have the privilege of learning from masters like Hiroto as well as many other CBJ Faculty and guest artists.
Hiroto explains his role in Summer Dance and why CBJ programming is different than other schools.
What will you be teaching this year at Summer Dance?
I will be teaching ballet, repertoire, pas de deux, coaching classes as well as private coaching.
You are an integral part of CBJ’s Junior Company Program, how is this different than other summer dance programs?
For Junior Company the focus is to perform what we practice and rehearse in the studio. This makes it especially challenging and exciting — meaning it’s all about the weekly Friday afternoon performance and bridging the gap between being a student and being a professional dancer. Each individual gives it their all through the process of 5 intensive weeks of training. That is what stands out and makes CBJ different from other summer dance programs. We are preparing you to work as a professional dancer.
“For me, the most important thing that I hope to bring into the classroom
is the joy and pleasure of dance.”
What is the learning environment like for students?
CBJ Coaches and teachers pay special attention to how students work in the studio and how they grow as a dancer, an artist and a person. This is an exceptionally nourishing experience for young dancers who are stepping into the world of professional dance.
We have a simulated Company experience working with CBJ dancers which gives an edge and a healthy competitive environment for participants. Working with students, learning with them, communicating with them in a very friendly intimate space — that alone will have a lot of impact on young dancers.
Can you talk about the Summer Intensives?
For the Summer Intensive participants, they work just as intensively as any professional company dancers would. With our incredibly diverse program (Ballet, Modern, Yoga, Private Coaching, Partnering Class and Creation), they delve into many forms of dancing and they learn how much they can push themselves. Our teachers work collaboratively to bring the essential ballet technique that will help improve the students’ understanding of correct alignment of the body and its
co-ordinations. Our creation classes are an excellent opportunity for students to work at something new and challenging, and really learn about themselves as a dancer and who they are as an artist.
What do you hope students will ultimately learn and remember from your classes?
For me, the most important thing that I hope to bring into the classroom is the joy and pleasure of dance. Concentrating on the foundation for correct alignment of body placement and how movement comes from relying on the inner musculature and not outside extremities. This is essential for dancers so they learn not to put unnecessary effort and pressure on the body. As a result, each dancer can enjoy the freeing sensation that comes with the correct technique and co-ordination. This is what I hope students will remember and learn from my classes. I want all students to feel the joy of dance and its abundance of possibilities within. That’s when I know I have succeeded.
Learn more about CBJ’s Summer Dance programs.
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