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Interview with WBC 2017 Silver Medalist: Kali Kleiman

At the 2017 World Ballet Competition Finals, Kali Kleiman received the Silver Medal in the Preparatory Category. She recently shared everything from how she trained for the competition to her sight-seeing explorations. Enjoy our chat below!

Interview Posted: Monday, January 29, 2018

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman

Who is your coach(s) and what dance school do you attend?

My coach's are Jacqueline Porter, Olga Pavlova, and Yevgeni Anfinogenov. I attend The Dallas Conservatory.

Do you rent your costumes or have them custom-made for you?
I recently have been working with a Dallas based costume designer and seamstress, Lisa Joy (who is masterful and like a second mom) that has created my last several costumes. This season I am also wearing two of the tutu’s that my coach, Olga Pavlova, is allowing me to borrow from her personal professional closet.

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman performing the Variation from Le Corsaire at the World Ballet Competition

What is your typical class and rehearsal schedule like during competition season?
I am a student at The Dallas Conservatory Academic program and it gives me amazing flexibility. My typical schedule includes a 9:30am studio arrival time, with time during the day for private lessons, two to three times a week to work on variations. We have classes every afternoon into the evening and then Saturday is company class and ensemble rehearsals. Sunday can be used for addition rehearsal time if it’s necessary.

How do you warm-up before competing?
It just depends. Usually I prefer a full barre with additional floor stretches. I also include jumps to get my blood flowing!

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman posing backstage

Were you nervous competing at the World Ballet Competition? If so, how did you overcome your nerves?
Yes I was very nervous but I think the opportunity to have tech time really helped. The backstage experience was very calm and supportive so that helped too. Just the ability to have my coach with me and to know that I prepared properly in the studio provided confidence as well.

What did you think of the WBC's instantaneous scoring system?
I thought the scoring was amazing because there is no waiting, you know where you stand with your competitors right away. There was no question of scores being changed or anyone playing favorites. I loved how transparent it was.

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman performing her contemporary solo "Intolerance" at the World Ballet Competition

Did you enjoy the "Kiss & Cry" area backstage for the live broadcast?
The “Kiss or Cry” booth was so much fun! It was a exciting way to find out your score...I do love the camera!

What did you think of the Master Class Workshop and competitor warm-up classes:
The classes were absolutely great! It’s always so enjoyable to take class from such well known and experienced teachers who are so dedicated to all students improving.

Did you do any sight-seeing while in Orlando? 
Yes!!! My whole family flew in and Grandparents too! We did several days of Disney and Universal Parks. We made it our Summer Vacation!

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Pictured: Kali Kleiman and her family take a break from the competition at Walt Disney World

Anything else you would like to share?
This competition was just an absolute joy! I got do my favorite thing which is to perform and everything about the competition was just amazing! The fact that you had open stage time, five minutes just to yourself and your coach gave me so much confidence. The schedule wasn’t so intense that it prevented family time and interrupted the whole day. The icing on the cake was being invited to perform in The Gala! It was such a humbling experience! Thank you World Ballet Competition!

Interested to compete in the World Ballet Competition?

Details on the 2018 Application can be found by clicking here

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