I Know What You Did This Summer

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Following a six-week hiatus, the Company returned to the SF Ballet studios on July 6. Below, five dancers tell us about how they spent their summer vacations:

Diego Cruz (corps de ballet): Right after the season was over, I went to Mexico for a bachelor party with some of the other dancers. We surprised the soon-to-be groom by waking him up in the middle of the night and taking him to the airport. Luckily, his fiancée, [SF Ballet Corps de Ballet Dancer] Jordan Hammond, had packed his bag and was in on the secret, but he definitely thought we were intruders! After Puerto Vallarta, I headed to my hometown of Zaragoza, Spain where I spent lots of time with my family. Our city had the hottest June temperatures in all of Europe—often up to 110 degrees, so I’d stay indoors until about 8pm at night and then go out. I particularly enjoyed cooking and eating lots of delicious meals; I especially enjoyed all the great meat! My brother is 15 years old and a student at Lola de Avila’s ballet school—I loved having the chance to watch him in rehearsal and see how much he’s matured as a dancer. On the way back to SF, I brought a lot of food and my bags were very overweight—but it was worth it!

Dancing in Spain.

Dancing in Spain.

Jahna Frantziskonis (corps de ballet): Since I finished my last season with Pacific Northwest Ballet on June 7, it’s been a whirlwind! On June 16, I performed in the Seattle International Dance Festival and then packed up everything and flew to San Francisco. I moved in with my brother who’s my best friend, and also a level 8 student at the SF Ballet School! Once I was here, I had a week to explore—my first stop was Chinatown, then to the piers, and a stop to the Inner Richmond where I had heard the food is great. My brother and I also had a great time walking the length of Golden Gate Bridge and making some funny videos. I’ve also had time to do a little vintage shopping for furniture and am slowly making my way through all the neighborhood coffee shops—I’m obsessed with coffee! It’s been great to see how SF Ballet reflects the diversity of the city and it seems like around every corner there’s a friendly face and something new and fun to see. I look forward to exploring more!

On the Golden Gate bridge.

On the Golden Gate Bridge.

Francisco Mungamba (corps de ballet): After I finished the season, I stayed in San Francisco for two weeks to take acting classes. I then went to Madrid (where I’m from) for two weeks. Because it’s so hot, my favorite thing to do was to get up very early and go to the beach in Valencia for an early swim. I also enjoyed eating a lot of seafood and spending time with my family. I was very happy to be home to celebrate the Night of San Juan, a lovely tradition that honors summer solstice. To participate, my friends and I made a bonfire on the beach and wrote down the negative things that happened to us over the past year. We then burned them in the fire, while contemplating all the good things we want to come to us in life and then we jumped across the bonfire. I also spent some time in Madrid’s beautiful parks—I love Buen Retiro which is a famous one. It has a beautiful lake where you can rent boats and it’s where everyone goes to hang out. I also loved going dancing at night and eating traditional, home-cooked meals by my mom. It’s so good to be home since sometimes I’ll go one or two years without seeing my family! When I’m back in Spain, I also make it a point to go back to my ballet school, meet with my teachers, and see how the all students are doing—it’s great to see how much amazing young talent is out there!

Me at the beach in Spain

At the beach in Valencia.

Rebecca Rhodes (corps de ballet): After the season, I was a bridesmaid in [SF Ballet Corps de Ballet Dancer] Kimberly Braylock’s wedding up in wine country. Afterward, my husband and I drove down the coast to San Luis Obispo and then I went to Chicago to throw my sister a baby shower. My husband and I also went to Portland for our one year anniversary—we loved hiking on Mount Hood, the weather was great, and we enjoyed the great food scene there. After that, we went back to Chicago so I could be there for my niece Olivia’s birth—she’s the first grandchild in our little family of four. My six weeks flew by and it was great to have time to decorate and clean out my closets! I also enjoyed attending Jordan Hammond’s wedding in the city and relaxing in full vacation mode. Now back to work!

Me with my niece Olivia!

With my niece Olivia.

Anthony Vincent (soloist): After the season, I went to Kimberly Braylock’s wedding and to [SF Ballet Principal Dancer] Carlos Quenedit’s baby shower and then flew to Phoenix, where I’m from. I was there for a few days and then I traveled to Montego Bay in Jamaica with two of my good friends, where we stayed at a luxury resort for a week. One of those days we went to Negril and stopped at a restaurant called Sweet and Spicy and then the Ritz Café, where I jumped off of a 25-foot cliff, which was totally liberating! After my trip, I went back to Phoenix for a week and then had a free week in San Francisco. I spent that time doing errands and then went back to Phoenix one more time since I couldn’t miss my sister’s eighteenth birthday, which was the day after I arrived. It’s really hot in Phoenix but it’s great to see family and I was able to organize a lot of things. On July 1 I went to Jordan Hammond’s wedding and then it was time to return to the studios!

Jumping!

Jumping!

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