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International ballet students train in Buffalo

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The education of students comes in many forms.  This summer some international ballet students traveled to Buffalo from Argentina and Uruguay on scholarships to study under Sergio Neglia.  WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says the teenagers have been taking intense training classes at the Neglia Ballet studio's on Elmwood Avenue.

"I have never been here in the United States.  It was hard for me because it was the first trip I do without may family. I was here five weeks," said Constanza Schweitzer.  She is among seven students from Argentina.  The same country Neglia was born and raised and learned to dance.  The dancers take several classes each day.

"And here I train seven hours.  I have four classes every day here and in Argentina I have four classes in a week.  Here we are from Monday to  Friday and the weekends we are really tired," said Scheweitzer. 

Scheweitzer took her first modern dance class during the summer training with Neglia.

"What do you like bout him and the way he teachers?", asked Buckley.   "He teaches with his own body. You see his corrections in his body, so you know how to do it in your body. He's very expressive too," noted Scheweizter.

"It's a very complete program. It has many kinds of works," said Silivina Mazzuca. She traveled with the students from Argentina to act as their chaperone.   

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Silvina Mazzuca traveled with the students from Argentina to act as their chaperone while in Buffalo.

"I hope they work a lot of different styles," said Mazzuca.

Buffalo Seminary, which specializes in international students, has been assisting with housing the students for the dance program.  

"Houses them. Transports them to the studio and back and brings them to field trips. They've been wonderful," said Heidi Halt is Executive Director of Neglia Ballet Artist. 

Halt describes the intensive, five week student program as "non-stop" with classes in ballet, modern and character dance, plus a work out of of floor barre.

"I like having the different cultures blending with our own students," said Halt." So it is also an exchange for everybody, and also I love that they appreciate what they are learning here and it makes our students work harder." 
The students say they've enjoyed learning how to perform classical dance. Agustina Morel is from Uruguay. 

"Sergio's style is very different from where I learned ballet back in my country. So it is very rich for me," said Morel. "Sergio has a lot of passion and he transmits it to his students."    

"I don't How much attention they're being paid to where they are studying now," said halt

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Dance students taking class at Neglia.

Neglia says he enjoys giving back to help students from his own country and enjoys helping other international students learn dance as well.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Sergio Neglia in studio during a class with some students.

"You know it's amazing because every teacher teachers their craft, but I feel I have some other things to offer," said Neglia.  "It would be nice to give back to my own people, so I came up with giving this scholarships, so I went last year."

Manuela Lavalle is from Argentina and feels she has much more to learn about dance. "I'm trying to learn that it's not jus technique. It's much more and I always felt it was just technique.  She would like to return to the U.S. to continue to study ballet. 

"I love ballet. I couldn't imagine life without doing it," said Lavalle.