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    The dance department received a special treat Thursday when the Texas Ballet Theater held its rehearsal for the company’s upcoming production, “Romance to Ragtime,” at the Ballet and Modern Dance Building.Heather Bays, a sophomore ballet and modern dance major, was among the students in attendance.

    “It really allowed us to catch a glimpse of their life and work and what it’s like to dance in the professional world,” Bays said. “It was nice to see them mess up and just shake it off the way they did.”

    Ben Stevenson, artistic director of Texas Ballet Theater, taught a few special classes last year, but this marked the first time the entire 34-member company was able to come down and perform in front of the dance students.

    “Usually it’s hard to have the whole company come down like this,” said Elizabeth Gillaspy, an assistant professor of ballet. “It’s definitely a special case. Hopefully they’ll be able to do it with more frequency down the road.”

    Stevenson is the 2006-2007 Distinguished Guest Artist in the College of Fine Arts, Gillaspy said. He teaches master classes to dance students as well as previews selected work from his ballet theater company.

    While the rehearsal was a chance to learn from professionals, students took the time to appreciate the experience as well.

    “It was nice to see them from such a close proximity for a change,” said Patty Solorzano, a sophomore modern dance major. “It gave it a more personal feeling when we watched their routine.”

    This summer, the Texas Ballet Theater School and the dance department will work together at two workshops, which will both be held at TCU.

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