Two Middle School Students Accepted into Prestigious Dance Programs

Both will attend Joffrey Summer Dance Intensives.
Eighth-graders Julia Steffner and Sara Kate Elrod recently auditioned in Atlanta for the Joffrey Ballet Summer Dance Intensive programs and were accepted into multiple programs around the U.S. Julia plans to attend one in New York City, while Sara Kate plans to attend the program at the University of Georgia in Athens. Both girls took dance at GPS as sixth- and seventh-graders under the direction of Laurel Moore Zahrobsky ’90.  

Her mother, Sarah, credits Julia’s interest in dance to GPS and Zahrobsky, dance teacher and dean of the seventh grade. “Julia took some preschool dance and hated it,” Sarah says. “Laurel’s sixth-grade dance class was a total revelation for her on what dance could be. I 100 percent believe that Julia would not be doing dance at this level without the Middle School dance program at GPS.”

When asked if Julia is looking forward to attending the Joffrey Ballet Summer Dance Intensive, Sarah says, “I think Julia is most excited about all the different kinds of dance that she’ll learn. They will dance all day and have instruction in modern, hip hop, ballet, jazz, and theater dance.”

On the other hand, Sara Kate’s mother, Wendy, has watched her daughter dance since she could walk. Sara Kate has been a student at the Dance Theatre of Dalton, Georgia, for 11 years, where she has taken ballet, gymnastics, jazz, tap, and contemporary dance.

This will be Sara Kate’s second year to attend a summer intensive program for Joffrey Ballet. “Last year, she attended the program at UGA [University of Georgia] and had such a wonderful experience that she decided to attend there again this summer,” Wendy says. “Not only does she hope to gain more experience from Joffrey’s professional instructors from all over the U.S., but she is excited to meet other girls her age from all over the world who have a passion for dance like she does.”

Both girls participate in myriad activities at GPS. Sara Kate plays golf, runs cross country, is a member of Christian Forum, and was elected as an eighth-grade CLC [Class Leadership Council] representative. Julia enjoys choir, does after-school Motion Makers [dance] and yoga, and plans to participate in Model UN.