Hello everyone – welcome to the Beaumont Tower Ballet Blog! I’ve developed this online resource to support and share information for my Ballet Basics and Intermediate Ballet students at Michigan State University, as well as anyone else interested in learning about ballet and other dance forms in a fun, body-positive way. In this blog, I will share tips about techniques, information about ballet styles and stories, and announcements for upcoming performances in Michigan.
Personally, I cannot remember a time in my life that didn’t include ballet. I began dancing before I was 3 years old – the story goes that my father decided to enroll me in ballet classes at a local studio after he caught me imitating the ballerinas in an old 1980s PBS special on TV. A year or so later, I had my on-stage debut in The Nutcracker, and by the time I was 10 years old I was training in a junior company several days a week. My parents (who are both classically trained professional musicians) were extremely supportive of my training and pushed me to develop both my technique and performance quality. I was very fortunate that there were a lot of amazing ballet dancers, teachers and choreographers in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio – many of them had come to the United States from the Soviet Union during the 70s and 80s, and set up Russian-styled ballet studios in their new home. As such, my training is almost entirely in the Russian form of operatic (storytelling) ballet.
I had originally dreamed of dancing professionally, but when I was a teenager, disaster struck: I severely injured my right foot during a dress rehearsal, completely breaking my big toe, and spraining my toes, interior arch, and ankle. Though my toes eventually healed, my joints stiffened, and I lost the ability to stand en pointe on my right foot. I had to completely rethink my career path, and explored other forms of dance – modern, musical theatre and even Japanese traditional dancing and Khmer (Cambodian) ballet – but decided that dance was no longer a career option. When I entered college at The Ohio State University in 2000, I joined the training program at BalletMet Columbus to stay fit and keep up my flexibility, and began teaching movement in a student theatre. Eventually, life took over what time I had for dance – grad school, research, work (including a new job at Michigan State University and a move north), marriage and parenthood ate up the free time I had originally reserved for barre and rehearsals. But I really missed dancing – and I missed meeting with people who are excited about dance. This past summer, I was granted the opportunity to begin teaching ballet through MSU’s recreational exercise program, and I jumped at the chance. I’ve really enjoyed working with the students, many of whom have never danced before, and learning about why they want to try ballet. Since one of the most common requests from my dancers has been for more information and videos to support what we are learning in class, I thought I might try my hand at a blog.
And thus, Beaumont Tower Ballerina was born!
So stayed tuned for more posts, updates, videos and stories from the studio floor… and keep on dancing! 🙂