Published in the Tri-City Voice
Katherine Liu and Nagisa Komori are high school seniors, who like many others their age, have finished their college applications and are waiting for replies. They will soon make their decision where to study and dance next year. In addition, these young dancers are two of the six American ballet students who are entered for the Solo Seal Award of the Royal Academy of Dance. They have been training their whole dancing lives, and more specifically since the summer for this moment, which will take place at the SOMArts cultural center in San Francisco, Sunday February 22. They will be presenting three solos in front of an audience and panel of judges, hopefully to be awarded the coveted Solo Seal Award of the Royal Academy of Dance.
The Royal Academy of Dance is a worldwide organization, centered in London. Students at Rachel’s Ballet prepare for yearly RAD examinations from preschool age. What sets the Solo Seal apart, is that to even enter, the students must have earned a Distinction on their Advanced 2 examination- itself a very high level of achievement. Maybe only 1% of dancers who train in the Royal Academy of Dance method are able to come up to this extremely high level and attempt their Solo Seal. Some years, there aren’t enough candidates in the US, and dancers have to travel to Canada to take part. Katherine and Nagisa are the first students from Rachel’s Ballet to attempt the Solo Seal. “We are so proud of these ladies. They have worked so hard to make it to this level. They poured so much effort and heart into preparing for their exam. We are lucky that the event is being held locally, so that teachers, families and friends can attend and share the experience with them. They have definitely inspired the dancers younger than themselves in the school.”- Leigh Ann Koelsch LRAD