Beginners’ ballet boosts balance, flexibility

Beginners’ ballet boosts balance, flexibility

Pictured (l-r) are: Renee Svendsen, Jeanine Christiansen, Katie and Nan Young and Rachel Price

Techniques for all ages, skill levels

One of my favorite childhood memories was an annual holiday trip to see the Nutcracker with a dear childhood friend and our mothers.

At 5’2” and 135 pounds, my stature quickly tells of my past as a gymnast, cheerleader and softball player. Despite inheriting my father’s stocky, athletic build, I’d always leave the theatre and immediately attempt my best elegant leap.

So, when elementary school teacher and avid runner and biker Nan Young promised that I’d not feel out of place in Rachel Price’s introduction to ballet class at Theo and Ganine’s Dance Center, I figured I ought to take another shot at honing my skills.

“It’s like Pilates on your feet!” she insisted as she paused during a recent morning jog along Sombrero Beach Road.

This week, Young brought along her daughter, Katie, a recent college graduate and dancer since the tender age of 3, to try Price’s class she began offering just over a year ago.

“She’s always been so good at her jumps!” the mother commended of her daughter as each dancer practiced a series of spins and shuffle steps.

A variety of positions and practices in the class can help increase flexibility. Fiona and Jeanine impress with their stretches on the bar!

A pang of ballerina envy struck me as I watched both the seasoned and novice dancers glide across the studio with elegant grace.

Jeanine Christiansen of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce admitted that after trying several different introductory dance classes, this is the first one with which she’s persisted.

“She’s advanced quite well in just six months,” Price commended.

A professionally trained fashion designer turned small Keys business owner, Price had been teaching ballroom dancing in the studio for several years. She still drives to Tavernier on a regular basis as part of the physical education department’s instruction at Treasure Village Montessori School.

Fiona Collins showcases her youthful flexibility under the watchful eye of instructor Rachel Price.

Coordinated amidst a host of other dance classes currently offered at the Dance Center, located at 11450 Overseas Highway in Suite 203, Price’s beginning ballet classes are offered on Tuesdays from 7-8 pm and Saturdays from 11 am to 12 noon. Classes are $15 each, but if a dancer prefers to participate both days, can do so for only $20 total.

As for me and my grande saut de chat, I’m going to have to keep practicing!

 

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