How Our Dancers Spent Their Summer

After a long and successful season, PBT Company dancers enjoyed a well-deserved break for the summer months. From performing internationally to spending time with family, read on to learn how some of the dancers spent their time outside of the PBT Studios!

Jack Hawn

I spent the 5 weeks of ISP as an accompanist for various classes throughout and thoroughly enjoyed being on the other side of ballet class. I always learn a lot from watching eager young students absorb all the new information they are given from teachers. Plus, I like to support dancers from behind the piano when I can since I know firsthand that lush, lively, energetic music can make all the difference when you are working so hard in the studio.

Jessica McCann and Yoshiaki Nakano

Since Yoshi and I got married in 2019, we haven’t been back to Japan since! So it was a huge deal for us to return this summer. We left right after the season ended. Yoshi and his mother host a gala every summer in Osaka, Japan that he himself puts together and organizes. It was the first time in three years since the World Dream Gala was hosted, so it was very exciting and emotional.

Yoshi and I danced Giselle Act ll pas de duex together, along with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s La Pluie duet that we performed with PBT in the spring.

Photo: Shunji Satsuma, New National Theatre Tokyo

We also had the honor and joy of performing in Tokyo at the New National Theatre of Tokyo for the Gala Ballet Asteras, with live orchestra by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. We danced with stunning Japanese dancers from all over the world who brought their partners to perform for two days, and it was outstanding. Yoshiaki was personally invited, but the majority of the artists had to apply to be accepted to perform in the gala so it was a huge honor.  We shared the stage with world class dancers, including a couple from NDT1, dancers from Paris Opera Ballet, principal dancers from Royal Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal Birmingham Ballet, Berlin Ballet and Opera National Bucharest just to name a few.

While we were in Japan we also found time to travel all over the beautiful country and relax a bit. We spent several days traveling around Tokyo, spent quality time with Yoshi’s family in Osaka where his grandmother just turned 101, ate amazing food, and we feel so grateful for the memories made and all the new friends.

We also visited Japanese temples and climbed thousands of steps to get to them!  We love going to Onsens (natural hot spring) in Japan so we found a very special one up in the mountains of Kagawa. A gorgeous countryside landscape of green hills, fog and rice fields.

Caitlyn Mendicino

I staged Napoli in PBT School’s Company Experience with Jonathan Breight. I also harvested three different kinds of honey from my bees!

Tommie Lin O’Hanlon

My husband and I welcomed these two bundles of joy into our lives! Everyone meet Pork and Beans, our sweet little Frenchies!! 

JoAnna Schmidt

One of the things I did was choreograph a piece, For Raymond, for the PBT School Graduate program and restaged it on some of the dancers in the Company Experience! I also went home to Florida and took my dog, Tiger, to New Smyrna Beach.

Gabrielle Thurlow and William Moore

Will and I were lucky enough to experience a summer full of travel. We went to Italy to visit Will’s family. We enjoyed lots of pasta, wine and fabulous company. It was great to catch up with them. We also took a trip to Brazil for a wedding! It was a first in this country for both of us, and it was an amazing experience.