Local Erie Student Accepted into World Renowned Ballet School

Patterson School of Ballet is excited to announce that Sierra Griffith, age 14 of McKean has been accepted to the School of American Ballet in New York City, NY.  She will be attending a 5-week summer intensive course that takes place starting in June and ending in August of 2020. Sierra has been studying ballet with us under the direction of Michael Patterson for the past 5 years.  


“We audition over 2,000 students each year in search of the best candidates for the summer course, and you are one of a very select group to be invited this year,” the School of American Ballet wrote in Sierra’s acceptance letter.  The School of American Ballet was founded in 1934 by George Balanchine, who was one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th Century and reshaped choreographic concepts of ballet in America and around the world. The School of American Ballet is also the official school of the New York City Ballet (NYCB), providing a vast majority of the company’s dancers as well as training dancers for other companies around the globe. The School of American Ballet is an audition only school, admission is highly competitive and deeply coveted by dancers all over the country. 


“When I found out that I was accepted into SAB, I was really excited and surprised. I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to train at SAB for the summer. It feels good to know that I have accomplished a big goal, and that my hard work is being recognized.  I am really happy and excited that all of my friends and family are so supportive and happy for me. I am thankful for the training that I have received from Michael Patterson that has helped me to get to this point, and I am happy to know that I have made my teachers proud.” -Sierra Griffith


Sierra enjoys dancing for Patterson School of Ballet and is excited for this prestigious opportunity.  She has participated in our summer intensive courses (Summer Programs 2020) at our studio in years past. All of the training she received in our studio has shaped her to become the dancer she is today and earn her a spot in the SAB intensive.  “I’m extremely proud of all of Sierra’s hard work. This is an opportunity she worked hard to earn. Of the 2,000 auditioned internationally, only 200 are accepted. I couldn’t be more ecstatic for her,” Michael Patterson, Artistic Director states.  


Following his career with the Pennsylvania Ballet (Philadelphia), Patterson founded this school here in Erie.  His students have danced with or are currently dancing with Joffrey Ballet, Washington Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Minnesota Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Netherlands Dans Theater. The mission of the Patterson School of Ballet is to enrich children’s lives and provide opportunities for personal growth and achievement by utilizing the skills developed in the studio.  

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