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Volume 26, Number 10 — October 2018

Dance: Ballet Arts Academy & Theatre of Ballet Arts

Lisa Fahn (<em>Nutcracker</em>))
Lisa Fahn (Nutcracker))
Additional photos below »

By Angela Wampler | A! Magazine for the Arts | July 26, 2011

Ballet Arts Academy & Theatre of Ballet Arts
Bristol, Va. • 276-644-9465

Lisa Fahn, 19, is currently attending King College. "Ballet takes major dedication. Despite the idea that dancers are disciplined and dedicated to their art, parents must be equally dedicated," she says. "Over the years I have put a lot of time and energy into dancing. In a way, I have become addicted to it.

When it comes to choosing between ballet and something else, ballet wins every time. I wanted to be on the swim team in high school, but ballet was more important to me." Her favorite part? "I love jumping. My favorite jumps are grande allegro, the big jumps that make you feel as though you're flying."

When she's not dancing, with whom does Lisa "hang out"? She says, "Honestly, I think the other girls I dance with and I all need a break from each other every now and then, seeing as we practically live together. I enjoy hanging out with my 'other' family when I'm not ballet. I also love music. I play the piano and I attend concerts at the Paramount Center for the Arts whenever possible." She adds, "Ever since I was little, I dreamed of being a ballerina. I enjoy dancing, but I don't see myself dancing five years from now. Who knows, though?"

Camille Clark, 18, is a recent graduate of Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, Tenn. She plans to pursue a dance major in college. Camille has had instruction in modern, tap, jazz, lyrical dance and ballet. She says, "Ballet is my comfort zone, my strong suit, and it allows me to forget everything outside of the studio. It is lots of fun and gives a sense of accomplishment. My friends [who aren't dancers] have a hard time understanding the time commitment, but it's not a hard choice — I love ballet." So much, in fact, that Camille plans to double major in ballet and biology in college. When she's not dancing or attending dance performances, Camille enjoys puppetry and singing in her youth choir at Tennessee Avenue Baptist Church.

Ashley Norman, 18, is a home-schooled senior attending the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Residential Program this summer in Bethlehem, Pa. Ashley has had instruction in ballet, jazz, modern, African and hip-hop. She says, "When I was young, I always wanted to be a princess or a ballerina. Not until I was 13 did I begin thinking about dancing professionally. Now my dream is to dance with the Royal Ballet in London." To accomplish her goal, Ashley has attended summer intensive workshops with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle; American Ballet Theatre in New York City; Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C.; and Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Torrington, Conn.

Ashley says, "Many, many times I have chosen ballet over several youth activities and even some birthday parties. I look at it in the long run. If you want to dance professionally, then you will most likely have to give up activities in order to improve your dancing skills. And parents have to be willing to give up some things, too. They have to be very supportive because of a dancer's demanding schedule. My parents drive more than an hour each way to take me to ballet class four days a week, and that doesn't include the time for extra rehearsals." Ashley notes, "I practically eat, sleep and drink ballet, so I don't have a lot of time in my schedule for anything else, but one of my favorite things to do is decorate cakes."

Fernando Moraga has been named Associate Artistic Director for the 2011-2012 season of Ballet Arts Academy and the Theatre of Ballet Arts in Bristol, Va. Read the A! Magazine story.


Bristol Ballet

Topics: Dance, Family

Camille Clark (Little Mermaid)

Ashley Norman (Nutcracker)