TEACHER SPOTLIGHT

APRIL 2017: MR. CHARLES ABEL

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I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and that’s where I started dancing.  At this point, however, I pretty much feel as if I’m from the DC area.

After a youth filled with sports – baseball, gymnastics, and wrestling - I took a modern dance class in the Limon style, then started studying full time at a small school in Baton Rouge called The Brantley School of Ballet.  The late Phoebe Brantley was a great coach and she gave me so many awesome learning opportunities.  She took me to see the ballet in New Orleans on several occasions and brought many excellent teachers into the school including the Russian émigré, Alexander Minz, Martin Fredman and others.  Alexander “Shasha” Minz made arrangements for me to audition in DC with one of his Russian friends from the Moiseyev Ballet named Yuli Vzorov.  I studied with Yuli and danced in his small company, Rhythm Ballet, for two years.  I also did a lot of academic study on my own on the history of ballet, the various styles, choreographers, the language, etc.  I do not have structured conservatory training.

I have to say it feels awesome to really nail double tours en l’air.  I probably like this so much because of how hard it was to learn and how “not awesome” it feels to fall during an attempt! I love everything about dance!  Dance is athletic.  Dance is artistic.  Dance is romantic.  Dance is expressive.  Dance is challenging.  For better or worse, dance has formed my life.

My first ballet teacher, Phoebe Brantley, once said to me: “Talent is the ability to work.”  That really stuck with me because not every dancer is gifted with long legs, supple back and feet, and natural ability.  But it takes absolutely zero talent to show up on time; to have a positive attitude; to stay focused; to observe and learn from others; and to develop the ethic to work hard.  These attributes will create success in most any endeavor.  I’m not of the opinion that dancers should “suffer for the art.”  We should all be able to find joy and have fun with dance but hard work in not negotiable. 
I enjoy a wide variety of movies but prefer script driven movies.  And while the action films like Star Wars, Gladiator, and Braveheart were great, the Academy Award winner Crash always comes to mind as a favorite. I still play a lot of sports including softball, and to a lesser extent tennis (too hard on my dancer knees:).  I love hiking outdoors also.  When indoors I watch sports on TV and read.


JAnuary 2017: Ms. Jessica

Jessica is from Hereford, Maryland. She studied dance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She was an dance major. She also studied dance at the MGM dance studio in PA. Jessica started dancing when she was four years old. She liked it much better than any sports that she tried so she decided to stick with dance.

Her favorite part of dance is helping students make a big break through with their technique and “helping them figure out how to do something that was difficult for them before”. So that’s a very valuable lesson she likes to instill in her students is to keep working hard at something even when it seems impossible.

When she has free time she likes to watch videos of modern and dance performances. Along with that, she enjoys taking her children to the Robinson Nature Center located in Howard County.

Her favorite style of dance is ballet and modern and her favorite position are tilts which is a popular modern dance move.

Ms. Jessica is a dancer of Misako Ballet Company.  Come to see Misako Ballet Company 10th anniversary performance "Perspective" on Feb. 19th at Jim Rouse Theatre!

Buy tickets at:

http://misakoballetcompany2017.bpt.me

Thank you Ms. Jessica!


November 2016: Ms. Brown

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Faunai Brown is from Baltimore, MD. She studied dance at the Baltimore County Youth Ballet and from there she studied dance at the University of Utah. This is her first year teaching here at the ballet studio, she teaches elementary ballet, ballet 1, ballet 3 and ballet 5 classes.

Ms. Brown originally started taking dance class with her older sister, her sister quit, but Ms. Brown continued. She absolutely loves to dance she says “dancing is a good way to express myself”. Her favorite style of dance is Ballet, she loves the way it is so structured and organized.

Her favorite part of dance is the whole aspect of performing on stage, being dressed in beautiful costumes and allowing to everyone in the audience to be captivated by her movements. “I love having everyone in the audience feel a part of what I am doing on stage”

One of the most important lesson Ms. Brown loves teaching her students is confidence and strength. She wants to teach her students to be confident in everything they do and how they do it. Along, with that she loves teaching her students physical strength.

Her absolute favorite move is Centerstage, it is such a classic and her favorite activity in Howard County is going to the Columbia Mall!

Thank you Ms. Brown!