We use American Ballet Theatre for our guideline how to train a healthy dancer. Nothing of this scope was ever produced for any sport or physical activities. While injuries will always be a part of any high level physical activity, our goal is to do our best to minimize the risks. Every student who dances must receive all the benefits of dancing: Happy, Healthy and Versatile Dancers. We want to balance the proper training with the opportunities for serious dancers to pursue a professional career in dance, as well as dancing for the love of the art form.
Dancing for Good Health, Joy and Self-discipline
HEALTH: Dancing can be a way to stay fit for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It has a wide range of physical, and mental benefits including: improved condition of your heart and lungs, increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness, increased aerobic fitness, improved muscle tone and strength, weight management, stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis, better coordination, agility and flexibility, improved balance and spatial awareness, increased physical confidence, improved mental functioning, improved general and psychological wellbeing, greater self-confidence and self-esteem, and better social skills. Most forms of dance may be considered an aerobic exercise and as such reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, help weight control, stress reduction, and bring about other benefits commonly associated with physical fitness. In addition, studies have demonstrated a considerable correlation between dancing and psychological well-being. It also helps with discipline, coordination, balance and memorization.
A major study at Stanford University added to the growing evidence that stimulating one’s mind by dancing can ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, much as physical exercise can keep the body fit. Dancing also increases cognitive acuity at all ages. Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your neural connectivity.
JOY: “There is an amazing feeling of happiness and joy that comes from dancing ballet that is so different from anything else. You feel strong, flexible, and in control. You feel your feet pointing, legs moving with ease, you flow in movements and you feel like flying when you jump. To get to that place it takes years of consistent training. When people say that I train my students for professional dancing only, because we require so much time commitment, I disagree. We train our students to share with them that feeling of pure freedom, joy and happiness that birds feel when they fly. Because ballet feels just as amazing as it looks. “
SELF-DISCIPLINE: Ballet teaches how to be patient with yourself and learn how to work every day to improve your mind, your body, and your technique.
Very often the ones that are physically talented and smart, who get good grades at school with minimal effort, they tend to get discouraged when are faced with challenges in ballet class, because they do not know how to deal with a challenge. They feel if they didn’t get it right away they are just not good at that particular movement. I was one of those kids who got all “A” without really needing to try hard in school. I got discouraged when things didn’t happen right away in ballet class. With time I understood what it means to work on a challenge, think, apply corrections and you get results. Just because there is a challenge it doesn’t mean you are not good at it
About the Training Method
The Turning Pointe School of Dance has a strong classical ballet foundation with the primary goal of raising properly trained dancers. We use the American Ballet Theater Curriculum which is a combination of Russian, Italian and French ballet styles. We teach our students the difference among classical ballet styles, and encourage our students to learn and be able to switch between the styles of ballet. Ballet serves as our core technique; building a foundation that allows dancers to adopt and adapt to other dance aesthetics, styles, and techniques. Turning Pointe School of Dance also provides strong dance programs in Hip-Hop, and Contemporary with recreational Jazz and Lyrical classes. We encourage all dancers to be versatile in their training and movement styles.
Terry Irion, along with her husband, Bruce, founded the Turning Pointe School of Dance in October of 2004 with the goal of providing an environment that would instill the joy of dance. The also strived to provide students with the level of training needed to pursue a professional dance career. Natalya Vyashenko joined the Turning Pointe School of Dance in September 2007. In 2009, Natalya became the owner of the Turning Pointe School of Dance. Since 2007 Michelle Walker has been with the Turning Pointe School of Dance, teaching Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Lyrical. She believes in a strong foundation in Ballet and emphasizes proper body alignment. Her classes are focused, stimulating and challenging. Miss Michelle became the new owner of the Turning Pointe School of Dance in August 2019. She takes great care with each and everyone of her students. Whether they dance in college, with a dance company, competitions, or for the pure joy of it. She wants them to be happy, healthy, successful, and versatile.