Dancing is a passion for Kenai Central High School Junior Alyeska Krull. Starting at the age of 8, Alyeska has been in tap classes, hip hop and musical theater. She has graced the local stage of the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium in several Kenai Performers shows. She has also traveled with Vergine’s Dance Company to Dance Excellence in Los Angeles.
Most recently her dance skills landed her a week full of dancing in Paris.
“To say you have danced in a dance studio, overlooking a café, in the open and dancing to a piano, it is kinda every dancer’s dream,” Alyeska said. “It made me love dance even more”
In February, Alyeska’s dance company attended a competition with 5678 Showtime, a Canadian Company, held in Anchorage. She said she was noticed by the company during a master class and was invited to participate in the 2013 Summer Dance Tour in Paris.
She received a scholarship from 5678 Showtime, and her parents made Alyeska’s trip a reason for the family to see France.
“She gave us a great excuse to get on a plane and go to France,” her mother, Mary Krull, said.
The family of five spent a week in the South of France before Alyeska’s dance adventure.
Her Paris dance experience began Aug. 6 when more than 35 dancers gathered for the week. She said most of the dancers were from Washington or Canada, while she and one other dancer represented the 49th state.
According to the company’s website, the summer dance tour, held since 2007, is a cultural experience that offers dancers diverse training in Paris with the added benefit of building strong friendships among the selected dancers. The tour has taken serious dancers into the professional dance world with an international perspective. The intent of the trip is to educate dancers for the professional world of dance while still enjoying the tourist attractions.
In the mornings, Alyeska said the group was lead by the dance company director and his ever present red balloon on a stick.
Before the daily dance classes, the dancers traveled as a group to attractions such as the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and a boat cruise on the Seine River.
During the week, participants danced nearly five hours a day during three classes. She said the styles ranged from ballet to jazz to new style and hip hop.
Alyeska said dancing in a foreign country had its obstacles.
“It was different because none of the teachers spoke English,” she said. “It really challenged you to watch and not listen, you had to very observant.”
She said her favorite classes were ballet and hip hop, both taught by male teachers. Another new experience for her was dancing to live music.
“I’ve never danced to live piano before, it has always been canned music. That was a different experience; it was fun,” she said.
She said she enjoyed the varied styles of each teacher. Most classes had the typical warm up, across the floor exercises and choreography. The dancers would perform the choreography in groups and teachers picked students out to see their dance interpretation.
Alyeska said she enjoyed watching other dancer’s styles and getting inspiration from them.
“The whole trip, and dancing there, was something I really wanted to do, and its something I can say I have done,” she said.
She said the trip matured her, made her push herself and helped to improve her overall technique.
“It confirmed why I wanted to do this,” Alyeska said. “To dance, it is a way of expressing yourself that you can’t do any other way.”
The last evening the group ate dinner at the Eiffel Tower. As a farewell to the dancers, the red balloon was released as a finale to the trip.
But her time Paris was not the finale of Alyeska’s dance career. After she graduates from KCHS, she plans to travel to South Dakota and study performing as well as business.
“I know I want to do both,” she said.