Lily Trautlein of The Preserve works toward her dream at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
“Be ready to work!” That’s the advice 11-year-old Lily Trautlein of The Preserve offers to kids who want to learn ballet. It’s advice that’s been handed down to her and taken to heart. “As Marcia always said, ‘Ballet is hard!’ You have to strive to be a tiny bit better each day.”
Marcia is Marcia Dale Weary, teacher and founder of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle. Marcia passed away in 2019, but her love of ballet paired with her dedication to excellence are honored every day, making CPYB a leader in the world of dance education. And kids like Lily who want to pursue dance at its highest levels hold Marcia and her dedication to her students in high esteem.
“She was a great teacher and she motivated me to want to get better,” says Lily. “I miss her!”
Lily started ballet classes at age seven when mom Jen signed her up for a summer class at CPYB. “I liked how challenging it was,” says Lily. “You can never be perfect, so there is always something to work on and fix.”
The school offers classes beginning at age three in their Children’s Division. Classes for the youngest students focus on fun, creativity, and beginning awareness of movement, and progress toward Pre-Ballet, CPYB’s first level of classical ballet training. From there, students continue through the school’s Primary Division and Pre-Professional Division.
Lily is currently in the Pre-Professional Division. When she first started ballet, she says the classes focused on learning basic positions, focusing on feet and legs. Now, she says, she is learning more advanced dances in preparation for the school’s annual production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®.
“I love performing,” Lily says. “It gives me the ability to come out of my shell. Being in the shows is my favorite thing!”
During the week, Lily attends classes for about five hours every night, Monday through Friday, and about 8 1/2 hours on Saturdays. “We always start with barre to warm up and then move into center work,” she tells us. “We always thank our teacher individually at the end of class.”
Along with the school’s winter production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, yearly performances include the Founder’s Series in June, as well as a fall and spring show. In this fall’s production of Once Upon a Rhyme, Lily was one of the Three Blind Mice. “Last year I got to play Marie in Nutcracker and it was my favorite role yet!,” says Lily. “I felt honored to be able to do it. It was a lot of acting and I liked that part of it.”
Lily is currently in sixth grade at Mountain View Middle School. Along with ballet, she enjoys singing, and this past fall she participated in a field hockey clinic on Sundays. With a busy schedule, Lily says staying organized is a priority.
And what’s on the horizon for Lily? “I would like to become a professional ballet dancer,” she tells us. “But I would also like to go to college to be a physical therapist.”
This article originally appeared in the December issue of Blue Mountain Living Magazine.
Header photo © George Balanchine The Nutcracker Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust Photography by Rosalie O’Connor.