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San Elijo Dance and Music Academy

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Local Nine-Year-Old Invited to Dance with the New York City Ballet

San Marcos’ Elizabeth Houk, 9, Prepares to Make Her Mark in the Ballet World This Summer

San Diego, CA, April 29, 2011 --( A nine-year-old San Marcos resident is making her mark in the ballet world. Elizabeth Houk, a dance student at San Elijo Dance and Music Academy and third grader at The Rhoades School in Encinitas, has been selected from over 150 dancers in the United States to dance with the New York City Ballet this summer.

Droves of young ballerinas showed up recently at the National Museum of Dance hoping for the chance to dance with the New York City Ballet (NYCB) company during its season at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, July 5 – 16. Auditions were led by Garielle Whittle, Children’s Ballet Mistress for the New York City Ballet, and Dena Abergel, Assistant Children’s Ballet Mistress at Saratoga Springs, NY. Elizabeth Houk is one of the 34 children selected for roles in Peter Martins’ "The Magic Flute" and Jerome Robbins’ "Circus Polka."

Elizabeth, speaking about the audition says, "It was really exciting at the audition because I didn't think I was going to make it but then I did! A lot of people were getting cut so I was really nervous. The New York City Ballet is really important and people are going to come from a lot of different places to see the performance that I'm going to be in, and I'm really excited!”

Elizabeth is part of a pre-professional conservatory ballet program at San Elijo Dance and Music Academy (SEDMA) in San Marcos, directed by Ben and Lauri-Michelle Houk. In discussing this opportunity with NYCB Lauri-Michelle Houk states, “New York City Ballet is the premiere ballet company in the world and to be a part of the Children's Cast is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a little girl. I think it speaks so highly of our training that once again our students are chosen to dance with other top students from the country.” Speaking about the performance Elizabeth is a part of, "The Summer Season in Saratoga is an unparalleled setting for dance and to be able to step foot on the same stage as the New York City Ballet, let alone to be actually chosen to dance a special ballet created just for children like Circus Polka by the great genius Jerome Robbins, is very exciting!”

To find out more about the San Elijo Dance & Music Academy, visit, or find us on facebook and twitter. To speak with Elizabeth or Ben and Lauri-Michelle Houk, please contact Dawn Saunders at

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San Elijo Dance and Music Academy
Dawn Saunders or Ben Houk

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