“I was 7 or 8 years old when I started with him,” Avanesian said of Fuller.
“I remember everything he taught me.” She is now a freshman at Crescenta Valley High School.
“That is nice to hear,” Fuller said when learning of Avanesian’s comments. “It is nice to be remembered.”
Fuller came back to Pasadena to teach a few classes in ballet at the festival.
Avanesian made certain that she was in his first class. She was already performing in the February Arts Festival at the Vonder Haar Center, formerly Ballet Petit, that afternoon.
“I have to perform but I didn’t want to miss seeing Phip,” she said.
The festival gave dancers a chance to take classes from teachers they have never met before as well as, like in Avanesian’s case, renew old acquaintances. There were a variety of classes offered, from hip-hop to ballet. In addition to classes, yoga and Pilates classes were offered that were geared to dancers.
This was the second year the festival was offered and produced by Lineage Dance Company. The proceeds benefited the Pasadena Educational Foundation Arts Fund and were sponsored in part by the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission and the city of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division. Dancers from La Crescenta and La Cañada participated and many dance studios, including California Dance Arts and California Contemporary Ballet in La Cañada, made donations via silent auction.
Robert Lewis, a senior at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, was on hand to take advantage of as many classes as possible. Lewis went from Rosemont Middle School to LACSA and said he found the classes helpful and fun.
The majority of the dancers at the festival were female, but Lewis said he didn’t have a problem being one of the few male dancers. He added that sometimes being in the minority is a good thing.
“[When auditioning], you have a lot less competition,” he said.
The festival was not only a place to learn from other dancers and instructors, but it also was a place to be seen and encouraged.
While at the festival, a choreographer approached him and gave him some performing tips.
“Get on stage as much as you can,” the choreographer said. “You are impressive.”
Hilary Thomas, Lineage artistic director, said that she had received a lot of positive feedback from both teachers and students throughout the day. She hoped to produce the festival again next year.