Dance Prodigy Keeping Options Open

Vaughn Luthringer, Staff Writer

“[I dance] about 18 hours a week,” said freshman ballerina Lisa Kondrich.

Since the age of 6, Kondrich has studied dance at various San Francisco based ballet schools.  She is currently at City Ballet studio.

“[At City Ballet], they do premiere Vaganova training, so it’s very classical ballet,” Kondrich said. Vaganova Academy is a Russian ballet school located in St. Petersburg.

“We do a combination of technique classes and other various dance enhancements,” Kondrich added. “Including technique classes, character, stretch, contemporary, and partnering.”

While Kondrich still attends classes at Campolindo, her schedule has been modified to accommodate her commitment to ballet training. “I don’t take P. E., and I take history online, so it’s convenient that Campo offers online classes,” Kondrich said.

“After 5th period I have to leave to do ballet in the city, because it starts at 2:30 each day, so it takes an hour drive. So I have to leave at 1:30 to be able to get there in time for class,” she explained.

Along with a talent for dance, Kondrich also has an aptitude for math, and is currently taking AP Calculus BC. Her prodigy status has meant being in classes with older students. “I’ve gotten used to it, but it was kind of strange with my first class, where I was in sixth grade, taking class with eighth graders,” Kondrich said.

“I think in the past, definitely in Honors Trig., they were like ‘who is this seventh grader,'” said junior Karina Nugent, a freshman, who, like Kondrich, has been in advanced math courses for the last 4 years.

In spite of her academic success, Kondrich may opt to pursue a career in dance following high school graduation. “What a lot of people at my school do often, is they get into a college, after school regularly, but then they can defer for a couple years, which allows them to audition for ballet companies,” Kondrich explained.

“It’s really convenient if schools are flexible like that, so they let students try doing professional dancing for a couple years, and then if they feel like they’re better dancing, they can just continue doing that,” said Kondrich. “But then they still have the backup of having a university, so the universities will just let them defer a little bit, and they could pursue it.”

Given her range of talent, Kendrick will, no doubt, have plenty of options from which to choose once she’s finished with high school.