Ballet 5:8 Company Artist Summer Smith grew up in South Jersey, where she began dancing at a young age. Having an arts focused family, she received exposure to all types of art throughout her childhood and studied painting and drawing under her mentor, Patricia Witt. In high school, Ms. Summer decided to begin her serious training at The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. During this time, she received scholarships to study at Orlando Ballet, and in New York, at American Ballet Theatre. Following high school, Ms. Summer attended The University of the Arts for Ballet and Painting. At Uarts, she was selected to perform works by Ronen Koresh, Christine Cox and Anastasia Babeyeva. She also worked with Douglas Becker, of the original Frankfurt Ballet, for his staging of "The Vile Parody of Address" by William Forsythe. During college, Ms. Summer dealt with some serious ballet burn-out, and decided to audition primarily for contemporary and jazz companies upon graduation. She is so thankful for God's sense of humor, as he completely pushed her to Ballet 5:8 and transformed her mindset with his overwhelming grace.