BalletMet en pointe with Reynoldsburg schools
A recent "YoungBalletMet" performance at Reynoldsburg Encore Academy was a chance for the audience to see the results of a partnership between the school district and BalletMet.
Young dancers demonstrated classical ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary dance during the Oct. 18 show.
Chris Rogers, BalletMet Columbus academy managing director, said performers included 40 dance students, along with five BalletMet trainees and 10 pre-professional students, who dance 30-plus hours a week.
"It was a full range of dance, with something for everyone," she said. "From jazz to modern, to contemporary and classical, such as in Sleeping Beauty -- it was a nice, balanced program with some familiar things and some not as familiar to audiences."
BalletMet is in its second year of a partnership with Reynoldsburg City Schools. The company provides instructors and offers classes to the general community and for Encore Academy students.
"The space at Encore is absolutely lovely and the acoustics are fabulous," Rogers said. "It has a nice airy feeling that the dancers can easily project out into the audience."
Rogers said the dancers ranged in age from 11 to 19 and were a part of the BalletMet Performance Ensemble. She said most participate in Performance Ensemble classes on Friday evenings.
Two BalletMet instructors teach four classes a day at Encore Academy, 8579 Summit Road, Rogers said. Sarah Mitchell-Sherman teaches modern and creative dance as well as Pilates and theater while Jill Forster teaches yoga and jazz dance.
The Performance Ensemble director is Susan Dromisky and Susan Brooker is the Dance Academy director.
"Five of the trainees who danced in the Oct. 18 performance are our company trainees, who are dancing in Dracula right now," Rogers said.
The district partnership with BalletMet began at the beginning of last school year.
Rogers called it "a wonderful opportunity."
"We appreciate being able to offer Reynoldsburg students and the surrounding community the chance to learn many disciplines of dance," she said. "We offer classes for ages 3 through adult, although we don't offer that many classes in the middle age range, yet, because we are still building this partnership and the program.
"We were able to perform not only at the Encore Academy but also performed our Window on the World series at three different Reynoldsburg elementary schools last year and hope to perform it at Rose Hill Elementary School this year," she said.
Tricia Moore, district coordinator of community outreach, called the partnership "fantastic."
"We are able to offer classes to the community in a convenient location in return for BalletMet using space in Encore and in Summit Elementary," Moore said. "They provide our students with Pilates, yoga and other classes free of charge for physical education and fine arts credits."
Rogers said the partnership depends on offsetting the costs of the instructors, so the more the community registers for classes, the more classes BalletMet can offer to continue the partnership.
She said people may register for classes online at balletmet.org or by calling 614-224-1672.
"We basically offer classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings right now," she said.
BalletMet offers classes at three different locations: the Encore Summit Road campus; at Gahanna Vista Plaza, 1141 N. Hamilton Road and at 322 Mount Vernon Ave. in downtown Columbus.
The dance company also offers Saturday and Tuesday evening classes at the McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St., Worthington.