Stepping Into the Professional World

After countless hours in the studio, late nights, early mornings, and perhaps 10,000 bobby pins, you may be asking yourself, "Where am I going from here?" If you are an aspiring ballet dancer, you may audition for School of American Ballet, ABT JKO School, the Rock School, or countless other renowned ballet programs. However, if your trajectory is not ballet, there aren't many options available where you can go to further your future potential.

Kanyok Arts Initiative has brought together all pillars of the professional community to adequately prepare its members for all aspects of the creative process. If you or your child has passion, discipline, and aptitude, and is seeking a comprehensive program that provides a unique opportunity to be exposed to and learn from industry leaders in an intimate yet professional setting, then Kanyok Arts Initiative's Collective program is your answer.


Laurie Kanyok, founder and director of Kanyok Arts Initiative is bridging the gap between the collegiate and professional worlds. According to Kanyok, "There comes a point where students need to shift their focus from drilling choreography to training to be an accomplished artist."

Kanyok believes that the dance competition circuit has come a long way in the past 20 years, and now more than ever, education is the focus. Conventions are competing to attract studios by bringing in top choreographers to create performance opportunities. The heightened convention scene inspired multiple hit television series and has created a new awareness in commercial dance.

Laurie Kanyok is a Broadway veteran who has enjoyed an impressive career as a professional dancer. Her career path took a turn toward casting, recruitment, and talent management when she realized that there was a component missing for young aspiring artists. She believes the studios have done a great job instilling a work ethic and igniting a passion in students, but dancers who have professional ambitions need to broaden their skill set.

KAI Collective's program was created to foster young talent and become the conduit to the most prestigious universities and ultimately be the main resource from which professionals in the community can draw talent. Kanyok's vision is brought to life via a four-day-a-week training program consisting of classical dance disciplines and current commercial styles as well as additional focus on voice and acting. With this solid foundation, she has built a training program that also showcases group and solo performances.

The dance community is taking notice. KAI is attracting dancers from all over the United States with varied backgrounds, aptitudes, and levels of experience. According to Kanyok, "While some KAI members are from New York and the Tri-state area, Grace Farrell, a Nashville native, and Kayla LaVine of Syracuse relocated to join KAI Collective and pursue a more refined training program. Our team provides support and guidance as many of them are preparing to apply to colleges. This is a critical time in their lives."

Jared Harbour, a recent KAI graduate, is heading to Princeton University this fall. "I have seen a growth in my artistic abilities and in my ideology. I was hesitant to continue my dance career post high school. I was unaware of the opportunities that were within my grasp. I have a newly instilled sense of confidence and pride in my ability to make a positive impact on the dance community on and off stage. KAI was a major component in my acceptance to several Ivy League institutions. The program introduced me to leading entrepreneurs, and now my ambitions have grown from an artistic level to exploring academia."

The industry is watching and waiting to see what is next.

"Kanyok Arts Initiative / Collective is the next generation of well-rounded artists. I look forward to being in the room with them one day, as they no doubt will be taking the arts by storm." Christopher Gattelli—Tony award-winning choreographer

KAI is changing how the dance and artistic communities view training and individual development. Come be a part of this groundbreaking program.

To learn more about Kanyok Arts Initiative and its foundational beliefs and training opportunities, visit https://www.kanyokartsinitiative.com and contact us at (917) 331-5461 for any questions. Registration is now open for the 2018–2019 season.

The Conversation
Cover Story

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It started with an Instagram and a leap of faith. Lucy Vallely was only 15 when she created a post voicing her desire to choreograph solos for the 2018 competition season. "I wasn't really sure what would come of it," remembers the comp-circuit standout. Soliciting choreographic opportunities via Instagram might sound like a gamble, but it's also very much in character for this now-17-year-old from Long Beach, CA. "She thrives on risks, on breaking boundaries she's previously created for herself," says Jessie Riley, Lucy's dance teacher and the owner of Westside Dance Project in Laguna Hills, CA.

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