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Rubén Martín

Principal teacher - Upper Levels American Ballet Theatre School

Rubén Martín is one of the founders of ZARÉLY. He was born in Reus Spain where he began his dance training and eventually made his way to the English National Ballet. He joined San Francisco Ballet in 2000 which is where he met Diego and Mateo and the three of them started ZARÉLY…but that is another story.

Ruben’s career has taken him around the world and into leading roles in many famous ballets with renowned choreographers, Artistic Directors and teachers.

He was a ballet master at The Washington Ballet before joining the faculty at American Ballet Theatre. 

ZARÉLY was delighted to have Ruben tell us about ABT’s summer intensive and what dancers can expect with their program.

ZARÉLY: What does your summer intensive program offer? What is different about what you offer than other schools?

Ruben: Our summer intensive program offers a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum that includes ballet technique, pointe work, variations, modern dance, character dance, and more. We also provide supplemental classes such as Pilates, yoga, and nutrition education to ensure our students are well-rounded and healthy.


What sets our program apart from others is our affiliation with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre and our commitment to excellence training. Our faculty consists of world-renowned dance educators and professional dancers who provide individualized attention and feedback to each student, and our program culminates in a final performance that showcases the progress and achievements of our students.


Additionally, our program offers unique opportunities such as masterclasses and “meet-the-artist” interviews with guest artists, and workshops on dance-related topics. Overall, we strive to provide a challenging, inspiring, and nurturing environment for aspiring dancers to grow and develop their skills.

ZARÉLY: What expectations should someone have when signing up for this kind of program? How does a summer intensive change or encourage a student?

Ruben: When someone signs up for a summer intensive program, they should expect a demanding and immersive experience that requires dedication, hard work, and discipline. Our program is designed to challenge students and push them to reach their full potential. We expect students to arrive with a positive attitude, open-mindedness, and a willingness to learn.


A summer intensive program can be a transformative experience for a student. It allows them to focus on their dance training, away from the distractions of daily life. This intensive training, combined with the guidance and feedback from our world-class faculty, can lead to significant progress in a short amount of time. Students often see improvements in their technique, strength, and artistry, which can be carried forward into their regular training and future dance endeavors.


Moreover, a summer intensive can also be a great opportunity for students to make new friends, connect with other dancers, and learn from guest teachers and artists. It can broaden their perspective on dance and inspire them to pursue their passion with renewed enthusiasm—It’s an experience they will remember their whole life.


Overall, a summer intensive program is a challenging yet rewarding experience that can help a student grow and develop their skills both as a dancer and as a person.

ZARÉLY: What is the best advice you can offer someone who goes through a summer intensive program? What should they look for? Why should they do this? 

Ruben: The best advice I can offer someone who is about to embark on a summer intensive program is to come prepared, stay focused, and be open to feedback. Before the program begins, make sure to review the curriculum, the schedule, and any specific guidelines or requirements. Pack everything you need, such as proper dance attire, shoes, and snacks. And most importantly, arrive with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard.


During the program, stay focused on your goals and take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. Listen to your teachers, ask questions, and be receptive to feedback. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, as they are part of the learning process, and practice based. Embrace challenges and setbacks as opportunities to improve.


Overall, a summer intensive program can be a valuable investment in your dance education and future career. It can help you gain new skills, make connections, and develop a strong work ethic and discipline.  And remember to have fun and enjoy the experience! A summer intensive can be a great chance to meet new people, explore a new city, and make memories that will last a lifetime. So, take the leap and embrace the opportunity to grow and shine as a dancer!

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