King City dancers gain acceptance to national ballet company

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Youth selected among thousands to train this summer

Photo by Ryan Cronk/South County Newspapers
Monterey County Dance Theatre students (from left) Rachel Garcia, Ashley Madrid-Olekna, Kelly Tate and Olivia Garcia will train with the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre this summer.

SOUTH COUNTY — Four King City students have been selected among thousands of dancers across the United States to train with the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre this summer.

Olivia Garcia, Rachel Garcia, Ashley Madrid-Olekna and Kelly Tate of the Monterey County Dance Theatre will join other promising dancers this July at the national ballet company’s training facility in Alabama for three weeks of intensive training.

All four dancers train locally in King City with Janette Harkness, artistic director at Monterey County Dance Theatre.

“We congratulate these young ladies and their families on this accomplishment,” Harkness said. “We are very proud of them.”

Each year ballet students across the Unites States and Europe compete to obtain admission to the American Ballet Theatre. The internationally famed ballet company is one of the oldest in the nation and has a highly acclaimed training school program only offered to the best dancers.

Harkness said aspiring students from across major cities and internationally audition every year with the hope of being selected to train at one of only five sites in the Unites States.

Olivia Garcia and Rachel Garcia are the daughters of Henry and Kathene Garcia and attend Bitterwater Tully School. Ashley Madrid-Olekna is the daughter of Svitlana and Raul Madrid and attends Chalone Peaks Middle School. Kelly Tate is the daughter of Shauna Bartolovich and Nicholas Tate and also attends Chalone Peaks.

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