Emily DiBartolo is a longtime student and one of our 2019 Seniors. Here is her PVB Story, in her own words:
My name is Emily DiBartolo, I am 17 years old, and I am advanced student with Pioneer Valley Ballet. I have been dancing with PVB since I was four years old. When I was little I would always walk around the house on my tiptoes, so my parents threw me into dance. When I first started dancing it was only for fun and was a place that allowed me to release energy. My real love for dance began after I was Clara in The Nutcracker when I was nine years old. After this I began to realize that dance was something that I was truly passionate about, and PVB was the perfect place to get the training, support, and performance experience that I needed.
One of my favorite PVB memories would be my involvement with the Outreach performances. PVB does additional performances for elementary schools as well as family friendly shows where the dancers get to interact with the kids. It is important to recognize that popular notions of life as a ballet dancer are not always favorable. There can be quite disturbing and inaccurate depictions in media. So we make sure to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle and balanced lives to the children we address. We focus on healthy body images and positive messages about dedication, hard work, and being part of a collective effort. It is important for young people, especially girls, to have a creative outlet in which strength and discipline do not need to be sacrificed for beauty and grace. And it is important for boys to be able to embrace their interests in movement and beauty without it affecting their sense of masculinity. Although I dance out of love for the art, I engage in outreach opportunities because it is fun and important to encourage the future generation of dancers to be physically and psychologically healthy.
PVB has taught me to appreciate everything that my body is capable of. Ballet is not solely about beauty, but about developing skills and character strengths that long outlast a dancing career. At a young age I learned the importance of discipline and respect, which not only helped me in the studio, but within an academic setting as well.
PVB has opened doors for me to also study with other companies. I studied with the Rock School of Dance and with Carolina Ballet (as a scholarship recipient) for two years. These were incredible experiences that I am extremely grateful for and that I would not have been able to have had if not for the incredible staff at PVB.
I will be attending Bates College in the fall and plan to continue dancing as a member of their dance department. I am excited to participate in the internationally recognized Bates Dance Festival and to continue learning from amazing choreographers and talented dancers. At Bates I am planning on studying Gender and Intersectionality Studies and dance.