POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Pound Ridge resident Lenin Hibler, a mere 12 years old, has recently seen the curtain go down on his final performance in The American Ballet Theatre’s production of “Don Quixote.”
How does a 12-year-old end up at Lincoln Center? “When Lenin was three he taught himself to break-dance by watching a video, so I realized he had aptitude,” said his mother, J.Y. Lym. “We were living in the Santa Cruz mountains in California. He took some lessons in Hawaiian dance out there. His teacher had very expressive hands.”
When the family moved east, Lym discovered that the New York City Ballet (NYCB) had a children’s school and was encouraging boys to attend. Lenin was accepted at the school on his eighth birthday.
By the time he was nine, he had appeared in “The Nutcracker,” and at ten he was in “Swan Lake.” After three years with the NYCB, he received a scholarship to study at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School of Ballet at the American Ballet Theater. So far, he has reprised his role in “The Nutcracker,” this time at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).
Lenin goes to ballet class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, spending an hour and a half to three hours each time. In order to study ballet and appear in professional performances, Lenin is home-schooled. “It’s a very unstructured schooling program,” said his mother. “His dance classes are very structured, so it’s a good mix.”
When he is not dancing, practicing, performing or studying the three R’s, Lenin plays bass guitar. He chose it because it is the instrument that provides “the beat,” said Lym. “Dance is really about music and listening to the beat. Lenin has a good ear.”
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