School Spotlight Q&A: Kiri Avelar, Associate School DirectorPosted: October 14, 2014
Every new year always brings exciting changes to Ballet Hispanico, and this year is no different. Members of our School of Dance community may have noticed a familiar face in a new role around the studios lately. Flamenco Program Advisor Kiri Avelar recently joined the School of Dance’s administrative team as the new Associate School Director.
We’re thrilled to have Kiri in this new position and caught up with her to learn more about herself, to see how the transition has been, and to hear what plans she has for the new school year:
Many people might just know you as one of our flamenco instructors, but you have quite a varied background in dance, both in styles and geographic locations. Could you share with us just a summary of your journey with dance, and how you came to find Ballet Hispanico?
I started my training in ballet. The older I got the more varied our curriculum became. Studying at the Boston Ballet School at age 14, I was introduced to Spanish dance in a class taught by Ramon de los Reyes. I didn’t care much for other styles at that age, and I was so focused on ballet that was all I cared about. I later received my B.A. in Dance in New Mexico. Flamenco and Spanish dance are huge there, and because of my ballet and Spanish dance base I easily assimilated into that community; I had an immediate in-road. I eventually fell in love with the art form of Flamenco, but never let go of my respect for ballet and modern dance. Looking back I can see how all of the pieces of my life’s puzzle fit together, now bringing me to Ballet Hispanico in New York.
Give us a sample of what your daily tasks look like now as an administrator for the School:
You can find me either in the classroom teaching, observing other faculty members teach, walking through the building to make sure kids get to class on time, or greeting families. The hours I spend behind the desk are dedicated to processing scholarships, working closely with School leadership and our advisors, and checking in with our marketing team.
What is it like to balance being both an administrator and a faculty member and advisor in the School?
I love my job. I am so at home in the studio, and yet there is a side of me that is fascinated by the arts administration that it takes to support that work – I get to work in the best of both worlds! I am able to see both sides of the coin, and I feel my work in one area informs my work in the other.
What’s one goal you have for the School of Dance this year?
To provide enrichment opportunities (performances, workshops, lectures, etc.) for our students that will further support their learning inside the classroom.
In an alternate life, if you weren’t dancing, what would you be doing right now?
Thanks for catching up with us, Kiri! Keep an eye on our blog for our next School Spotlight Q&A.