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Archive for Ballet

Bay Area Dance School Interview with Leyla Boissonnade

Dance Compitition Bay Area Dance SchoolEstablished in 2012, Bay Area Dance School is dedicated to maintaining excellence in dance education and welcomes young dancers to learn and enjoy the art of dance through various styles and levels of instruction. They build upon these styles and levels to support a young child’s learning pattern and growing body.

Leyla Boissonnade is the Studio Owner and Director of Bay Area Dance School in Los Altos, California. Bay Area nurtures young dancers and fosters their passion for dance through high-quality dance instruction with an emphasis on technique and attention to details. They offer ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, tap, contemporary, acro, pre-school, boys and conditioning classes, as well as Acuity, their competition team.

Acuity Dancers is Bay Area’s competition team program designed for serious dancers who are committed to the art of dance and who have a passion to perform. Participation is by invitation and audition only. As part of the program, students will participate in technique classes, performances, competitions, conventions, community work, workshops,

Bay Area is a studio for young dancers who are serious about their dancing but still want to explore other interests as part of their childhood. Leyla believes it is important for dancers, especially those under the age of 12, to try other (more…)

Hathaway Academy of Ballet Interview with Kirt Hathaway

Hathaway Academy of Ballet The nestThe Hathaway Academy of Ballet is located in the heart of Collin County, Texas. The school serves the Collin County communities and the North Dallas area. Not only has it become one of the premier ballet academies in the North Texas region, but it is the official academy for the Collin County Ballet Theater. The academy has a pre-professional training program preparing the dancers for main stage performances. They have a methodical and kinesthetic approach to the training of the students with an emphasis on the proper fundamentals and principles of the ballet technique, “Lessons of a Lifetime.”

Hathaway Academy of Ballet PracticingIn the opinion of Kirt Hathaway, one of the Directors, the main thing separating their studio from other studios is their professional staff and faculty who bring their experiences to the students.  Their excellent staff is pleased to be a part of young student’s dance education. They hope that their experience and knowledge will inspire the joy of dance for all the students in the academy. The wonderful adventure in dance will be so rewarding and meaningful for a lifetime. “The students will always be given the appropriate tools for them to enjoy their dance while at the same time properly developing a high (more…)

Cincinnati Ballet’s Otto M. Budig Academy Interview with Catherine Batcheller

Catherine Batcheller Dance Teacher

photo credit: Mikki Schaffner

Our most recent interview was with Catherine Batcheller, the Academy Dean of the Cincinnati Ballet’s Otto M. Budig Academy. The Otto M. Budig Academy is the pre-professional ballet academy affiliated with the Cincinnati Ballet that offers excellence in classical training in a nurturing and disciplined environment while providing professional placements and opportunities.

The Academy has both nationally and internationally recognized instructors who are experienced and passionate about teaching and who love to work with students and watch them grow. They offer a strong base in classical ballet which includes pointe, variations, pas de deux class, mens’ class and modern, but they also offer the older levels exposure to Contemporary Ballet and Composition classes. The Academy is also proud to be one of the only schools in the country that offer regular classes in Horton Technique; a modern technique that is helpful in building core strength in ballet dancers.  In the past the Cincinnati Ballet has performed several of Horton’s works, which had earned the company national recognition for keeping some of his historic works alive.  For the younger students, they offer Musical Theater and Jazz and for older students the Academy has a strong Adult (more…)

Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio Interview with Luanne Sorrentino

TeachingMrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio (“MRDS”) is a non-competitive school that gives their students plenty of performing experience without a competitive or negative edge. We spoke with Luanne Sorrentino, a Co-Owner of MRDS. She told us that they build self-esteem AND produce great polished dancers. MRDS separates their classes by age and level. It is a family run studio that strives to provide a safe, nurturing and loving environment while focusing on technique, terminology and discipline.

Luanne believes their school is separated from other schools by their passion and professionalism. They love sharing their beautiful world of dance with their students and watching them grow into strong confident teens and young adults. Their students seem to never move on but stay well into their 20’s and return later with their own children. It’s a friendly, loving environment that is run professionally. They are very organized and established. This is their 56th year!

As far as a proudest moment while coaching, there are just too many to list. It is not always the big things like their kids getting into shows, performing arts high schools, college scholarships, tours etc. It is the everyday moments of which they are most proud. Seeing a student become secure (more…)

Lonestar Dance Center Interview with Kate Evetts

dance classThe mission of Lonestar Dance Center (“LDC”) of Pflugerville, Texas, is to empower kids to express themselves with confidence through the art of dance. Kate Evetts, the Owner and Director of LDC, says they believe dance is a formative and fun way to inspire and shape children into strong, confident, mentally and physically healthy human beings who can use performance art to collaborate with other dancers and express themselves. They offer both recreational and competitive dance options in various styles for boys and girls ages two through adult. They have four beautiful studios in a lovely 6,000 square foot space and house an enrollment of approximately 300 students per year.

They believe in a values-based education approach in the classroom. While it is extremely important to teach their dancers proper technique, they also want to teach concepts such as responsibility, respect, integrity, perseverance, love, loyalty and teamwork. They don’t just want to turn out amazing dancers; they want to help mold children who will turn into successful adults.

One of Kate’s proudest moments when coaching was last Spring when LDC did a community-based performance called “Matters of the Heart” that focused on anti-bullying. The pieces told a story about concepts like loneliness, judgment, (more…)

Princeton Ballet School Interview with Mary Pat Robertson

Mary Pat RobertsonWe interviewed Mary Pat Robertson of the Princeton Ballet School (“PBS”), is the official school of American Repertory Ballet

They are one of the oldest and largest not-for-profit ballet schools in the United States. They are affiliated with a professional company, American Repertory Ballet and have three branches: Princeton, Cranbury, and New Brunswick. In addition to a strong ballet program for children and young adults, they have many Open Enrollment classes for adults (about 35 a week). Their Trainee program, is for post-high school students who are serious aspirants to a career in dance. They also produce three levels of Summer Intensive programs, ranging from an international program for dancers ages 13 and up to two day programs for younger dancers.

PBS is different from other schools in that they are affiliated with a professional company, and that professionalism of purpose and presentation carries over into the faculty and the conscientiousness of their students. They also have a faculty who specialize in certain age groups, so that each teacher feels comfortable with the age groups that they work with.

“There have been many moments of pride in individual students, when sitting in the audience at City Center or at State Theater watching alums dance. (more…)

Expressions School of Theatrical Dance Interview With Kimala Kelbert

Kimala Kelbert, the Owner/Director of Expressions School of Theatrical Dance, has taught dance in some form since she was 16 and has previously owned a studio in Southern Alabama. During the summer of Kimala Kelbert2014, Kimala and her family decided to open a new studio in Casper, Wyoming. They did a lot of surveying and polling and as they talked with dance families and people who had children who were interested, but not enrolled, in dance, they found there was a strong demand in their area for a studio with morals, character, modesty and family values. Though most people expect high standards in dance training, it wasn’t at the top of their list. With strong Christian beliefs, she had the same convictions of so many of these people. They took to heart what their Expressions School of Theatrical Dance community was requesting and developed their programs accordingly

With 28 years of teaching experience, and having been certified by Dance Masters of America (“DMA”) in 1991, for director Kimala, high quality dance training is a major priority. Through DMA, Kimala learned pedagogic methods to teach progressive levels of all the dance forms she teaches.  The experience she has had working in studios over the years (more…)

Ballet Lubbock Interview With Yvonne Racz Key

Yvonne Rackz KeyYvonne Racz Key, the Artistic Director of Ballet Lubbock in Lubbock Texas, says the first main difference between Ballet Lubbock and other studios is that they are not a studio. They are a school. They have a teaching curriculum with a pre-ballet program and graduated levels from 1-8 with a performing regional company. Students have a dress code and attendance policy they must follow. Each level must  take a class exam at the end of the year in order to advance to the next level. Their focus is teaching the technical and artistic technique of ballet as their main forte. They also teach modern, jazz and character dance as essentials of dance training.

Yvonne says as a teacher and director, her job is to instruct and inspire – to educate and inform. At Ballet Lubbock, they give constructive criticism all the time but they also blend it with the love of dance – to love the challenge of always working hard to be better educated as a dancer and as a human being. She always tells her dancers to never settle – to always strive for more, do more, expect more because they are all worth it. They have to want to (more…)

Becky Seamster Dance Studio Interview with Becky Seamster

This interview was with Becky Seamster, owner/director/teacher of Becky Seamster Dance Studio in Kokomo, Indiana.  Becky started her school because she wanted to share her love of dance.  She thinks it is very important for every child to have music and movement in their lives.

Becky Seamster Dance Studio is different from other schools because they require all of their students to take a ballet class and not all studios in their area do that.  The Dance Studio also maintains professional behavior in all social media they participate in as well as their presence in the Ballet Teachercommunity and in their studio.  They encourage their students to also meet those standards.  Additionally, they bring in master teachers and provide opportunities outside their studio for their students to learn.  They attend competitions with workshops to encourage the learning process as well as the competition and always make sure they are among other studios both at their level as well as above their level so their dancers will be challenged.

Becky motivates and encourages her students by telling them how many times she has been approached by previous students telling her how sorry they are that they stopped dancing but she has never heard anyone say (more…)

Dance Elite Academy of Performing Arts Interview with Lia Malcom

Lia Malcom, founder and Studio Director of Dance Elite Academy of Performing Arts in Rapid City, South Dakota, was interviewed for this article.  Lia said she was “fortunate enough” to have trained at Great Britain’s Royal Ballet.  (From what I know about Great Britain’s Royal Ballet, being “fortunate Lia Malcolmenough” has very little to do with being accepted.  You have to be gifted and “very talented” to be accepted.  At the age of 11, Lia was accepted as a student at the Royal Ballet which only accepts 1 out of 2,000 candidates.  It sounds like the “fortunate” ones are her students at the Dance Elite Academy of Performing Arts to have her as a teacher.)   After her time with the Royal Ballet, Lia went on to have a long and varied commercial professional career around the world and was an associate of both the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) and the world renowned ISTD (Imperial Society of the Teachers of Dance).  Because of this experience Lia is able to give her students a proper Cecchetti method based training.

The Dance Elite Academy of Performing Arts is the proud home to twenty pageant winners ranging from Little Miss North Hills to Miss South Dakota (more…)