Orlando Sentinel, July 31, 2012
MOUNT DORA – After a winter of balancing school with learning precise ballet technique, summer brings smiles to dance students.
The girls and boys learn about music, dance history, Pilates, performance make-up, and costuming, between Classical Ballet, Character Dance, Modern and Jazz technique classes with their Artistic Director, Kathryn Wheeler, and guest instructors flown in by the Mount Dora School of Ballet.
“The students learn about the components that create an artist,” said Kathryn Wheeler, studio owner and director. “They have so much fun – it reinforces their love for the whole art form. Dancers come back in the fall very inspired.”
Pilates trains your body to develop long, lean muscles and engage core muscles. Character Dance is an integral part of Classical Ballet. Its base is from the national and folkloric dance traditions. It helps dancers develop artistry and show personality and mood in their performances.
Bringing in guest instructors is one of Wheeler’s strengths. From her career as a dancer and a teacher, she can invite a high level guest teacher.
Earlier this month, Amy Earnest taught Classical Ballet to students from 10 through 13. Earnest, who studied at The Atlanta Ballet, School of American Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet, performed as a principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, was a student of Wheeler’s in Atlanta.
Peter Pawlyshyn, who was the school director at the Kansas City Ballet School and was a principal guest artist with the Boston Ballet, taught Character Dance and Classical Ballet. He said, “ a school focusing on dance education, rather than competitions, can offer students a chance for an exciting future.”
“This has afforded us careers around the world,” Pawlyshyn said. He also said that students who pursue their studies can also follow university programs in dance, or can use their knowledge of body mechanics as doctors or physiotherapists.
Students Carolyn Bakich, 13; Madison Yates, 13; and Hannah Wells, 11; demonstrated the pirouette and talked about how ballet makes them feel. Carolyn said her dance studies have made her feel more independent. Madison said ballet has made her stronger, more flexible, and taught her gracefulness. “People think we just go around in tutus,” she said. “But we’re athletes, too.”
Mount Dora School of Ballet, at 4280 North Highway, 19A is accepting registration for its upcoming season. MDSB will have an Open House on Saturday, August 18th from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. or call 352-357-5536 for information. Fall classes begin September 4.