By Markus Gottschlich
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Academy of Ballet Arts Relocating
to ArtsXchange Campus
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NEA/Pinellas Recovers Grant Update
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It is a rare occurrence that a business founded in 1969 has a chance to redesign its community impact, but the renaissance of the Academy of Ballet Arts Inc is happening on April 1 in St. Petersburg.
The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) has invited the Academy of Ballet Arts to relocate their professional ballet school to the Pruitt Education Center on the WADA ArtsXchange Campus.
The move will improve accessibility for neighborhood residents to take advantage of a dance school education and other arts opportunities offered at the ArtsXchange Campus located at 515 22nd Street South, in St. Pete’s Warehouse Arts District.
When construction is finished, the facility will include four studios – two of which will have the flexibility to be joined together for master classes, rehearsals and in-studio performances.
WADA Executive Director, Markus Gottschlich says, ”We are thrilled to welcome ABA to our campus in an effort to mutually enrich our communities and to continue to move towards uniting the visual with the performing arts.”
The Warehouse Arts District location will allow the Academy faculty to prepare beginners of all ages to attend the public-school art programs at Perkins Elementary Center for the Arts and International Studies, John Hopkins Middle School Center for the Arts, Journalism and Gifted Studies and Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School in south St Petersburg.
The Academy will also prepare those who want to study dance for confidence-building, self-discipline and the healthy outlet of expressing ideas and emotions through movement.
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You can listen to a conversation with Ms. P
– Suzanne Pomerantzeff –
about her teaching career and philosophy.
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The ArtsXchange Campus is part of the city-wide ArtWalk on the Second Saturday of each month. On Second Saturday, the galleries, artist’s studios and the Academy are open to the public from 5-9 pm.
During ArtWalk, the Academy will present a combination of classes, rehearsals and mini-performances in the dance rooms while the director, choreographers and teachers conduct an artist-talk with visitors. ArtWalk experiences help provide performance skills for the dancers and will continue to highlight dance as an artform throughout the year.
Education is a vital part of the Academy’s goals to introduce dance to new audiences and students and ArtWalk is a consistent free opportunity to be seen. Academy of Ballet Arts Artistic Director Suzanne Pomerantzeff – Ms. P – says, “Moving the Academy to WADA opens up so many creative possibilities for me and the students I teach.
“Dance is a language that speaks from the heart and takes its roots from every culture’s music, traditions and stories. I can’t think of a more fitting forever home for the Academy than to be surrounded with working artists.”
The Academy of Ballet Arts will also offer space to local emerging artists and choreographers as well as visiting artists to use in the pursuit of creating new works.
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About the Academy of Ballet Arts
The Academy of Ballet Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in St. Petersburg FL that offers professional dance instruction to anyone at any age. The Academy has a national reputation for training dancers for entrance into major ballet companies, Broadway shows and qualifying for college dance programs. Alumni include – Calvin Royal III, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre; Danielle Glynn, Ballet Palm Beach, Dominika Afanasenkov, New York City Ballet; Gretel Batista, Houston Ballet; Briana Reed, former dancer in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre; and Marquis Floyd, currently touring in The Lion King.
The Academy offers students ages 3-90 year-round classes in ballet, pointe, character, pas de deux, modern, jazz, contemporary and movement classes for boys. The Academy also has an adaptive ballet class for students faced with emotional, mental and physical challenges.
Special Summer Intensive programs are offered June 4 – August 4 for beginners through advanced students. Families needing financial aid are encouraged to apply for help through the tuition grant program. In the Fall, the Academy will open a new musical theatre program.
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About the Warehouse Arts District Association
The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization dedicated to creating a vibrant arts community within and around the Warehouse Arts District in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The organization’s mission is to build and sustain a vibrant arts community in St. Petersburg that supports the success of all artists and the community at large through a broad spectrum of tools, including community revitalization, marketing, advocacy and educational programming within the St. Petersburg Warehouse Arts District.
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Originally published in the WADA Newsletter
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