Straz center takes on the next step of their oncoming ballet program

The Straz center adds their first international student to their ballet program.

Lindsey Chadwick, Staff writer

An international ballet program is making its way to Tampa Bay’s Straz Center. The center, known for their highly-praised ballet program, is making the first move into becoming an internationally recognized ballet institution.

In an international ballet program, a mixture of people from all over the world perform in one production. In 2019, The Straz Center added its first international ballerina, Chi Wong from Hong Kong. With the introduction of one international student, the Straz is working for more to follow.

According to ABC Action News , Wong wanted to learn more, so she came to the United States for a new environment where she’ll learn American techniques and styles.

Artistic director Phillip Neal prepares all the dancers through instruction, direction and performance opportunities in the end goal to include more international students to the company gradually. Wong  is just the first step in making the Straz ballet association an internationally based program. With more international students they will bring more attention to Tampa, making more people want to come here and watch the Straz productions.

Fox 13 states that Chi Wong and her fellow students spend at least eight hours a day practicing and improving their skills so they can make their audiences experience unforgettable. They are currently working towards their performance, The Nutcracker, in November. Artistic director Phillip Neal hopes to add more international students to the program little by little.