We offer a variety of classes and workshops focusing on teaching fundamental principles of ballet and even blending it with African dance as seen in our signature ballet "The Leopard Tale"... go to our website at www.ballethnic.org for more information. I danced professionally with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Atlanta Ballet before doing a National Tour called Heartstrings and starting Ballethnic Dance Company Inc. 27 years ago with my wife and co-founder Nena Gilreath. My teaching method is from the longtime Ballethnic Dance Company Ballet Master Ramazon Bapov formerly of the Bolshoi Ballet of Russia and concepts from the Dance Theatre of Harlem as documented by Karel Shook. I focus on helping the student learn the terminology and progression of movemments in addition to the correct application of those movements.
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I begin by focusing on their placement and alignment and going over necessary terminology to empower the student with a basic understanding of what we are doing and how it will help them learn most efficiently.
I have over 30 years of training at the professional level with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Atlanta Ballet, and Ballethnic Dance Company Inc. I have worked personally with several legandary figures such as Arthur Mitchell, Ramazon Bapov,Itsvan Rabovsky, Geoffrey Holder, Louis Johnson, Chuck Davis, Irene Tassembedo, Babatunde Olatunji,Reginald Yates,Robert Barnett, Mannie Rowe, Vladimir Davidov, Mette Spaniardi,Maggie Black, Carmen Delavallad,Stephanie Dabney, and Lydia Arbarca.
My private lessons range from $35-$50 per half hour depending on the level of the student. Students who require more specialized training would be charged accordingly for the advancement of the student.
I began at the Dance Theatre of Harlem as a teachers assistant and loved the sense of pride that I felt observing the students overcome obstacles based on my instructions and guidance.
I take great pride in the fact that I have worked with a variety of students. Some at the professional/preprofessional levels and some at the amatuer or even non dance level. I have worked with dancers returning from injury or students that have disabilities. I have worked with a variety of ages from 6 to beyond the 60's. I have worked with Athletes, musical groups, theatre groups etc...
I choreographed Memphis for the Aurora Theater and Theatrical Outfit. Also I presented a lecture demonstration at Duke University for the Dancing The African Diaspora Conference were I presented Visage D' Afrique which chronicles my lifetime work of blending classical ballet with African dance forms and fusing the movements sur le pointe.
A quality teacher should have a long track record of their work with students. The experience of a teacher is invaluable. Make sure you do your research on the teacher and you will be able to make a coherent decision. Make sure that the schedules are coordinated to avoid missed lesson. Always keep a notebook and take notes...you will find this to be very helpful in your training.
The student must have realistic expectations and be willing to put in the work to achieve maximum results. The student should always inform the teacher of injuries or specific discomfort of particular muscle groups or joints because it might be necessary for the teacher to adjust the lesson plan to avoid aggrivating that potential injury. The student should express to the teacher what their expectations are and recieve feedback as to whether that goal is realistic for the timeframe that they will be working.