by HANNAH BROADBENT
This July a small number of handpicked ballet dancers from across the country will dance at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy (BBA) Summer Intensive Program in Connecticut. These young prodigies will practice a rigorous curriculum, which will be taught entirely in the Russian language.
Twelve year-old Hans Anderson of Watertown will be one of those kids. Hopefully.
“The cost to my family is high even with the scholarship, so I’m asking my family and friends to share in my dream to become a professional dancer by supporting my summer intensive,” Anderson said on his GoFundMe page titled “Help Hans Dance at Bolshoi Academy”.
The program accepted him in February after submitting a video audition that his dance teachers urged him to send.
“I was nervous [when filming], I didn’t know what they wanted,” Anderson said. “I wanted to be the best I could be.”
Anderson will be the first student from his studio, Summit Dance Shoppe in Plymouth, to attend,
“I was so excited, just freaked about money,” said Laurie Anderson, Hans’ mother.
Anderson’s specialty isn’t ballet, but contemporary, jazz and lyrical dance. According to him, BBA will allow him to advance his skills in ballet.
“Ballet is the core of dancing,” Anderson said. “You use ballet in everything you learn.”
The program includes classes in Classical Ballet, Repertoire, Pointe and Male Technique.
This will be the first summer Anderson will be away from home dancing for weeks on end. He’ll leave in the beginning on June and come back at the beginning of August. Anderson will be dancing in almost all corners of the country. He’ll start in New York City then head to Orlando, Los Angeles and will end his trip in Connecticut. The BBA is the only place he won’t be competing, just learning.
“This is the year for that stuff to start happening,” his mom said. “It’s just the financial piece of it.”
The intensive program is only for 9 to 14 year-olds. The family said knowing that Anderson is at a critical point in his development, this specific opportunity “feels even more important.”
“[It’s] an opportunity we can’t not try to make happen,” Anderson’s mom said.
Laurie Anderson is a single mom to Hans and his two brothers. Anderson said she is grateful for all the support she has received from friends, family and Hans’ studio, but still needs monetary help.
Friends of the family started the GoFundMe page and Anderson’s mother is holding a “high-end” garage sale in early May to help raise money for this summer’s dancing endeavors. The garage sale will be held at Christ Community Lutheran School on May 6.
The family is asking for the community’s help in supporting the partial scholarship Anderson received. He says this opportunity is his time to blossom.
“I want to make it to the highest level,” Anderson said.
Hans Anderson started dancing when he was 9 years-old. In only three years of dancing for almost 15 hours a week, he has won best male dancer on nine separate occasions in competition.
His teachers say he is “crazy gifted.”
Before finding dance, Anderson competed in gymnastics and figure skating. Laurie Anderson, his mom, pushed him towards dance for a long time before he finally enrolled in a recreational class in Delano.
“He was always dancing in the living room,” she said. “I think it’s just a natural ability.”
Anderson was only in the recreational class for about two months before he wanted more of a challenge.
“I just like pushing myself,” he said.
He tried out for a competitive line at his current studio in Plymouth and was placed on the highest line.
Three years later, he is being honored with solos, duets and the chance to dance all over the country.
“I grew a lot,” he said. “I grew as a dancer.”
“He has to make a lot of sacrifices,” Hans’ mother said.
Anderson doesn’t participate in school sports or after school activities. His mom says he doesn’t have time to even really hang out with friends outside of his dance community. Though this level of competitive dance can be exhausting, Anderson said he has never wanted to stop dancing,
“It’s a lot, but it’s also a good thing if I want to become a better dancer,” he said.
One day he hopes to make a career out of this passion of his. Anderson’s dream is to go to school for dance and dance on the show “So You Think You Can Dance”.
Go to GoFundMe.com/HelpHansDance to make a donation.
Follow us on Twitter @carvercountyecm.