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Ballet Schools- "Gems" in "unlikely" places

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  • werlkj


  • Mel Johnson


  • mylildancer


  • ami1436


I had taken a break from dancing professionally way back in the mid/late '80s, and looking for something that was fun, but not aerobics (Jane Fonda was BIG then). A woman who had danced with the Joyce Tristler company in New York moved to my small, small town north of Boston and started a dance class called Dancenergy. She incorporated many danced styles, from modern to ballet to musical theater type of dance into a class of choreographed 'pieces' that started with a warm up through to a cool down. It was wonderful for me who needed to move and dance without the critique of ballet. I loved it. It helped me move from being a strictly classical ballet dancer to being able to adapt to contemporary ballet and dance far more easily. I used to HATE taking a jazz class or modern class as a young dancer because I was so un used to dancing 'free style'. I couldn't do a hip thrust to save my life!!


I moved on, but this class is still going strong. It has been 25 years since she started this class and it introduced many people to dance who normally would not have taken any kind of dance class.


Another little gem in a small town. :)

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A few month's ago, two dancers from Orlando Ballet, Sergiu Brindusa and his new wife, Beth Moore, took over a school in Pocatello, Idaho, a town that truly feels even more remote than where I'm living now. We'll be making a long drive down there a couple days a week to take advantage of them. To be honest, I can't imagine them staying for long, but then again...you never know. They've got very big ideas, and have expanded the school physically as well as by adding faculty. It is truly strange what an embarassment of riches we have here. Crazy.

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Idaho definitely has something going! We had two little boys, 12 and 13, audition for us last week. They have moved to DC. Both adorable and very nicely trained! :wacko:

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I only heard of Mr. Zirra's death a month ago (very belatedly), and am so so glad to hear that it's being attended to so well!!! As much as I can't imagine moving back, the type of training that's now available along our little stretch of I-15 is making it rather tempting (not to mention the much more manageable cost of living!!!)!!! :)

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Ah, one of the difficulties with the "little gems" -- The two boys you mention, Ms. Leigh, just recently left our studio. My boys will miss having male peers, and that's one reason we'll be driving to Pocatello twice a week. Besides offering a male teacher down there (men's class too), they also have a young man--one only--who is also training seriously. So now there's three... Little gems don't offer everything; it's not practical or even feasible for most of them. So they, as well as their students, have to be flexible and tolerant. Not always easy for any of us.

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So very true, werklj.


But, Idaho isn't called 'The Gem State' for nothin'.... (sorry, I just couldn't resist... have been thinking of it since I logged off yesterday!)

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  • 4 years later...

I just wanted to thank everyone for this thread - it has been very inspiring for me, a hopefully future-ballet-teacher, who wants to make a difference in the ballet world and provide proper training for children. I was especially inspired by the story of the 23 year-old who sacrificed so much to start her studio (Dance1Soccer1 posted that).


I lived in a very rural area where there was only one ballet school. I am so grateful to that school, because they did teach well, I always got excellent results in my exams (which were examined by external examiners from a national organisation). They handled my hyperextension in the knees really well and I am so grateful to them for being informed and knowledgeable about hyperextension. Because of them, I have not picked up bad hyperextension habits. Unfortunately, I don't think this ballet school is still in existence :D But little gems do exist, even in the tiny rural areas in the North-West province in South Africa.

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There's Baylins Ballet Barn, near High Wycombe outside of London. The dance teacher moved to the UK (from France) and she's really good. Ex-pupils have gone to Elmhurst, I think the RBS too.

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  • 1 year later...

The school where I dance, the Ohio Conservatory of Ballet, is in a little building with two studios in Akron OH. Both teachers/owners graduated from the Vaganova Academy of Ballet in St. Petersburg and were both principals with major Russian ballet companies. One of the owners, DmitryTuboltsev,was a Bolshoi Ballet principal and his wife and co-owner Inna Stabrova was a principal with the Boris Eifman Ballet. The school is relatively new and there are only about 40 regular students, but in the 11 years it has been open, they have had about 10 students become professional ballet dancers in companies including PNB, Colorado Ballet, Ohio Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet.

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  • 2 years later...

I dance at a little school in rural New Zealand. My teacher has had students placed in International competitions and gained company contracts in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, England, China, Japan, US, Ireland and Switzerland.

Edited by monbro13
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