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Tag Archive for ballet

Beautiful Feet Academy of the Dance Arts Interview with Julie Oliver

Julie Oliver, the Owner and Director of Beautiful Feet Academy of the Dance Arts in Caspar, Wyoming, describes her studio as dedicated, fun, and a little bit crazy! Their dance team is called “Beautiful Feet” based on Isaiah 52:7 in the Bible, which says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.” According to Julie, they exist to bring the good news through dance that God sent us a Savior in Jesus Christ. “Let them praise His name with dancing . . .” Psalm 149:3a

 

Julie’s proudest moment as a dance coach is seeing their dancers be brave enough to stand on their convictions in the midst of extreme pressure.

In Julie’s opinion, all dancers have their own technique mistakes or “flubs,” but she believes that one of the most pervasive and common problems is simply allowing their nervousness to show. She believes that the dancers can look the judges and audience in the eye and really step out of their comfort zone to present and perform, that makes a HUGE difference and also tends to draw attention away from other technical mistakes.

Their student’s value to Beautiful Feet does not depend on his or her dancing skills (more…)

Jenae’s Dance Experience Interview with Jenae Duncan

Jenae Duncan, Owner and Creative Director of Jenae’s Dance Experience (JDE) in Conyers, Georgia, describes her studio as being focused on professional and affordable technical training from 3 year old beginners to 18+ year old advanced dancers.  They test on terminology and teach Traditional Ballet, Tap, Jazz, West African (accompanied by live drummers), Hip Hop, Pointe and Beginners Tumbling and Competition Team Training.

In Jenae’s opinion, what separates their dance studio from other dance studios are the classes they offer and the way their studio is structured.

Jenae’s proudest moment coaching was surprising their students with their brand new 4,125 sq foot studio space.  JDE started at the Boys and Girls club, moved into Jenae’s basement, back to the Boys and Girls club and is now filled to capacity in a studio with 3 different rooms.  They’ve gone from no mirrors to ceiling to floor wall to wall mirrors, from carpet to wood floors, from wall support to free standing Ballet Bars. They have lockers, a parent lounge, TV’s in every room for dancer reviews and playbacks, chalk board wall sections in every room for terminology and notes! It is an amazing feeling for Jenae.

The biggest mistake Jenae has seen dancers make today (more…)

The Greater Boston School of Dance Interview with Kerrin Michaels

Kerrin Michaels is Owner and Director of the Greater Boston School of Dance (GBSD) in Boston, Massachusetts. The studio prides itself on is being a place for students that want to take their dancing to a new level. The staff is dedicated to making students stand out from the crowd. They are passionate about teaching proper technique, but even more passionate about good sportsmanship, kindness and while at competitions appreciation and support of other studios!

Having a strong musical theatre background, Kerrin knows how important it is for dancers to be “triple threats.” Every year, the dancers have to sing in at least one routine. This year they competed with a Musical Theatre Tap routine to “Anything Goes” where they had a lead singer and the team sang chorus. GBSD tries to push their dancers out of their comfort zone and do something that will make them better, stronger dancers in the long run.

Kerrin’s proudest moments as a coach occurred during their competitions this year. Not only did their team take home multiple first place trophies locally and nationally, but their studio was awarded “kindness” and “backstage awards” at several competitions this season. It was those awards that they celebrated the most. (more…)

Leigh Purtill Ballet Interview with Leigh Purtill

Leigh Purtill of Leigh Purtill Ballet in the Pasadena/Los Angeles, California, area teaches beginner through advance ballet, including pointe. In Leigh’s words, she puts her dancers on stage! They perform at least twice a year – a spring show and Nutcracker.

She also has an amateur ballet company, Leigh Purtill Ballet Company, which is for adults only. In the past, the Company has performed small sections of Leigh’s original ballet, Sweet Sorrow, at venues such as the popular horror convention, Scare LA, in Pasadena and at the ARTNight Pasadena. They will be producing the full length version in October as the first full ballet of their repertory.

Leigh is always looking for performance opportunities for her students so they can experience dancing on a stage in front of an audience, learn choreography and costume design, and in some cases, fulfill lifelong dreams. She loves hearing from students that their dreams have come true when they finish a Nutcracker or other story ballet she has produced.

Leigh’s proudest moments as a teacher occur when she sees beginner students who have never performed in front of an audience or on a stage, who have never played a character or danced choreography, really blossom on stage. Then (more…)

Center Stage Dance Studio Interview with Mary Pilalis, Director

Center Stage Dance Studio, in Bloomingdale, Illinois, is described by Mary Pilalis, their Director, as a great studio with a family environment that includes the nationally renowned Aspire Dance Company, the Center Stage Dance Studio Performing Troupe which performs at community events, and their 30 weekly recital classes. This year they are excited to add a tumbling program.
For Excellence in dance, Center Stage has been serving suburban Chicagoland for over 15 years. They pride themselves on not only being the biggest dance studio in the area but also the best! Center Stage is a family owned and operated business based in Bloomingdale. They offer Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Dance Poms and Tumbling. In addition, they offer technique classes or recital classes and classes for both boys and girls. Whatever you think you are looking for, we have the perfect class to suit your needs.
Center Stage has been named by the Federation of Dance Competitions as one of the top 10 dance studios in the United States, by Dancer Magazine as one of the top 25 dance studios in North America and by the Daily Herald as the best place to dance in (more…)

Aspire Dance Studio Interview with Alexia Liavas

Aspire Dance Studio in Thousand Oaks, California, is owned by Alexia Liavas who is also the Company Director, a Choreographer and one of the teachers at the studio. Aspire’s mission statement is “We nurture and feed the soul, body and mind through dance.”  It is a place of nurturing through dance.  They teach their dancers to be the best they can be—not only in dance, but also in life.

In Alexia’s opinion what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that Aspire truly has amazing teachers who care about each and every student.  Each student dancing at Aspire is not just a number in a class, but an individual.  According to Alexia, they are there to help each student reach their highest potential and to be their best!  They also honor the artistry and history of dance, and go beyond just teaching “steps.”

Aspire offers beginning through advanced dance classes for students from 2 years old through adult. The classes they provide include Toddler Classes, Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Stretch & Strength, Tumbling, Jazz Technique, Musical Theater, Boy’s Classes and classes specifically for teens and adults.

In addition to offering dance classes, Aspire is the (more…)

Edge Studio of Dance Interview with Kim Kelliher and Jeannie Wozniak

Kim Kelliher and Jeannie Wozniak, the co-founders and co-owners of Edge Studio of Dance in Canton, Massachusetts, relate that they have strived to make Edge Studio a 13warm and nurturing environment to foster and encourage the love of dance.  There are three levels of dance training offered at Edge Studio so there is a fit for everyone and all types of dancers from the recreation dancers to the advanced company members. They pride themselves on making their dancers well-rounded in many styles of dance.  Edge Studio offers many styles of dance – ballet,  jazz, lyrical jazz, contemporary, tap, hip hop, improv, acrobatics and technique classes. Edge has also been recognized for its excellent in acrobatic training and the studio is honored to be certified through Acrobatic Arts.

Kim believes that their studio is unique among other dance studios because of their commitment to a friendly and inclusive atmosphere that stems from the top directors. They believe in having a healthy atmosphere so that they can focus on training and technique. Edge may be a competitive dance school but it is important to also help encourage their students to grow into thoughtful and compassionate young adults.

Kim’s proudest moments are watching the lifespan of their young students grow into talented dancers and (more…)

Amy’s All Star Dance Studio Interview with Andi Thompson

Amy’s All Star Dance Studio, in Schertz, Texas, is a Christian based dance studio owned by Amy Mucha, better known as “Ms. Amy.” Their office manager, Andi Thompson, describes their dance studio as a family based, people friendly school where everyone is welcome no matter what their dance abilities are. It doesn’t matter if they are an extremely qualified student or just beginning at the age of 12 or 13. They will help any dancer.

This year, they started a dance class for special needs children up to, and including, wheelchairs and leg braces which, in Andi’s opinion, is one of the things that separates their dance studio from other studios in the area. Andi’s younger daughter and Amy’s younger sister, Amanda, graduated from the University of Incarnate Word and was on the UIW dance squad. Her goal was to ultimately work in dance therapy with a focus on special needs children! Conse1quently, after waiting two years until Amanda graduated from college, Amy’s All Stars started this special needs class which Amanda teaches. As far as they know, they are the only studio in the area with special needs classes. Andi believes another reason they stand out is the fact that they (more…)

Tennessee Arts Conservatory Interview with Jennifer Harwell

Tennessee Arts Conservatory in Franklin, Tennessee, is classically focused, with pre professional and competition training.  They engage their dancers artistically and athletically and part of that is teaching injury prevention and nutrition.  For pointe, ballet, and choreography they focus on private coaching.  Additionally, they engage the students at a young age with choreography and one of the ways they do that is by letting them enter their choreography into competitions. The students have regular evaluations and ballet exams, and when they graduate, they are ready for a college program or a professional company.

Tennessee Arts Conservatory is owned by Jennifer Harwell where she is also the Artistic Director. Nashville in Motion, their Professional Dance Company, began as a unique artistic endeavor to bring audiences contemporary dance in collaboration with musical talent.

In Jennifer’s opinion, there are a number of things that set them apart from other dance studios in their area. One of those things is the number of guest teachers and Master Classes they offer. In addition, they offer a guidance program for dance as the next step for students entering their junior or senior year of high school. Tennessee Arts also offers Visual Art and Homeschool classes.  Last, they are developing a (more…)

Blue Lapis Light Aerial Dance Interview with Sally Jacques

Blue Lapis Light in Austin, Texas, is a site-specific aerial dance company founded by Artistic Director Sally Jacques in 2005. Her earlier works encompassed social, political, and spiritual themes. These performances have evolved to delve into movement through the air – extending limits, defying boundaries, and suspending graceful athleticism for the danger of igniting fleeting beauty.

According to their websight, “Blue Lapis Light seeks to transform urban environments into inspired works of art, creating beauty that transcends space in their expansiveness, connecting us to a sense of wonder, possibility, and hope. The company’s name draws from Ghandi’s description of a meditation practice, wherein the soul merges with Eternal consciousness taking the form of blue light.”

Sally reports their studios are situated on nearly three acres of land where they have two 27′ aerial dance studios with sprung wood floors and 20′ mirrors.  This provides a peaceful and tranquil environment for students attending their classes.  Company members are the instructors and provide an atmosphere of encouragement, support and inspiration.  Each of them is highly skilled in aerial arts as well as a number of them in ground dance techniques. They teach classes in aerial silks, harness instruction, as well as modern, ballet and yoga.

Her (more…)