Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Principals Christopher Budzynski and Alexandrea Kochis don’t like to take their work home with them, so when they want to relax on the weekend, they go outside. While away from the studio, they take advantage of Pittsburgh’s great outdoor location. “[We] love how easy it is to get to beautiful places from Pittsburgh,” said Budzynski. “Within an hour you can really be in so many different locations.” Here are some ways the two like to spend their time outdoors.


Kochis and Budzynski enjoy whitewater kayaking at Ohiopyle State Park, particularly during the ballet off-season. The Youghiogheny River runs through the park, and the Lower Yough boasts many class III and IV rapids for experienced whitewater boaters. There are also guided rafting trips for less experienced boaters.

More information about Ohiopyle can be found at the Ohiopyle State Park website.


The dancers also enjoy sailing on Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park. Sailboats as well as rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks, motorboats, and pontoon boats may be rented from the Crescent Bay Area throughout the summer months. There are also refueling stations and docks, boat racks, and storage options for those who choose to bring their own boats.

More information about Ohiopyle can be found at the Ohiopyle State Park website.

Tents, outdoors, camp

Photo Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


Kochis and Budzynski enjoy camping, which can be done at both Ohiopyle and Moraine State Parks. Ohiopyle offers walk-in sites, cottages, yurts, and organized group camping as well as free camping for campground hosts. Moraine offers first-come first-served shelter for backpackers at the North Country National Scenic Trail shelter as well as organized group tenting and cabins. There are also private campgrounds nearby.


When the dancers stay closer to home, they enjoy taking walks along the North Park walking trails. The park also has cycling trails, boat ramps into the lake, and cabins for rent. Visitors can hike, fish, bike, boat, camp, swim, ice skate, and utilize the park’s many sports fields and courts.

More information about North Park can be found on the Allegheny County Parks website.