The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, located in Torrington, Connecticut, helps young dancers shine. Having trained thousands of rising stars in classical ballet over the last 50 years, the Nutmeg provides professional-level training and performance experience while also nurturing students’ self-confidence and supporting their personal growth.
The Nutmeg offers students two options for studying ballet: a year-round residency and a summer program. Combining intensive training with numerous performance opportunities throughout the year, the Nutmeg’s unique approach gives students the breadth and depth of skills they need to succeed in dance.
“The commitment of the Nutmeg’s faculty and guest artists is to use this ideal combination of experiences to prepare students for the demands of 21st century professional dance companies,” explains Donna Mattiello, Director of Academics at the Nutmeg.
The Nutmeg prioritizes an academic education equally for its aspiring dancers. This focus on academics ultimately led to the development of Nutmeg’s Conservatory Academic Program (CAP), which provides educational options as well as full college preparation for students with academic as well as ballet ambitions.
As part of the CAP, the Nutmeg partners with several academic programs, including Laurel Springs School, an accredited online private school that has served elite performing artists like those who attend the Nutmeg for decades.
“The Nutmeg faculty believes education to be essential in the development of a young artist, so we partner with a variety of schools,” said Mattiello. “Laurel Springs students at Nutmeg get on-site progress monitoring, help in communicating with their teachers, exam proctoring and other support.”
16-year-old Solee Dinio, a dancer in the Nutmeg’s year-round residency program and a Laurel Springs student, says attending the conservatory while taking online classes has allowed her to soar to new heights as a performing artist.
“[The] Nutmeg has shaped my life as a dancer because I not only get to dance even more than I used to with amazing teachers and staff, but I also get to dance with people who have the same passion as me,” Dinio said. “I really enjoy that for The Nutcracker and the spring shows, we get to learn multiple parts and do more than one cast, so that we dancers have an opportunity to dance more.”
As for Dinio’s academic education, she chose Laurel Springs because of the wide range of classes available to her, including honors and AP courses that she wanted to take.
“I really appreciate the fact that all of my teachers are very supportive and engaging,” Dinio said. “I also appreciate how flexible the assignments are. I am able to finish certain tasks when it is more convenient for me, and in my opinion, attending Laurel Springs has helped me grow as a student.”
Charlotte Evans, a 15-year-old student at the Nutmeg, shares Dinio’s passion for dance and also enjoys studying online at Laurel Springs.
“Laurel Springs’ program works so well for my learning style,” Evans said. “With Laurel Springs, I am able to get ahead in my classes. If I know I will have a long rehearsal at night and won’t have time to do homework later on, I can get it done beforehand since I am on my own timeline.”
For Evans, this flexibility is key to her success as a student and as a performing artist at the Nutmeg, which has been an “incredible place” for her to dance.
“The performance opportunities are amazing,” Evans said. “Emphasis on Vaganova training adds to my ballet repertoire, which is essential to making me a versatile dancer, adaptable to many styles. The faculty knows you by name, and the smaller class sizes allow individualized corrections, helping me to grow further. The teachers and staff at [the] Nutmeg are so supportive, and really want the best for you.”
For young artists like Dinio and Evans who are actively pursuing their passions without sacrificing academics, the Nutmeg and Laurel Springs make the perfect team in helping students achieve their goals.