BAINBRIDGE BALLET’S 18TH ANNUAL “THE NUTCRACKER”
Where: Bainbridge High School – 9330 High School Rd NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
When: December 16th through December 20th Bainbridge Ballet’s 18th Annual The Nutcracker Tickets in Bainbridge Island, WA, United States (ticketleap.com)
For long-time islander Sara Cramer, learning to dance as a very young girl spurred a lifelong love of ballet. Her first ballet teacher had trained with Russian Ballet dancers who had defected to the United States; one was Mikhail Mordkin, a former dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, and a forerunner of the American Ballet Theatre. While taking ballet classes in Portland, Oregon where she grew up, she frequently attended performances by New York City and American Ballet Theater groups. Although she pursued a professional career in dance, it didn’t last long, as she noted, “I grew up in an era when there were not many mixed-race dancers in American ballet companies.” She recalls her teacher telling her mother that if she wanted to pursue a professional career, she would need to go to Europe or Asia. Instead, her parents encouraged her to go to college, where she studied health sciences and nursing. After Sara married and had children, she decided to return to ballet, this time teaching to others. The more she taught the more she enjoyed the process, and in 2003, she founded Bainbridge Ballet. Today, Sara is the Owner/ Director and Lead Instructor.
Bainbridge Ballet’s core teachings revolve around creating passion through accessible movement, create a safe and loving space for authentic self-expression, and ensure a quality artistic experience for people of all ages and at every stage of life. This is done through education that teaches the students proper technique through healthy and mindful movement, as well as the classical structure of traditional ballet.
“Whether you are looking to be involved in a preparatory program, where we prepare students to become involved in the professional dance world, or are looking for a movement outlet and love the classical structure of a ballet class, there is a space for you here.”
A number of classes are available, starting with traditional ballet, which includes pre-ballet starting as early as age 3. All classes teach a combination of basic movement, dance concepts, basic disciplines of dance, spatial awareness, rhythm, mental concentration, physical coordination and gross motor skills.*
Additional classes include:
Ballet/tap – Classes are described as a “wonderful combination of tap and pre-ballet for those children who love both!” Students who experience sensory sensitivity are welcome to wear noise canceling headphones during the tap portion of class.
Pointe –Teaches the proper alignment and specialized techniques necessary to perform safely and properly en pointe.
Jazz – Originating in the late 19th century from the African American community and parallel to the jazz music movement. Jazz classes include educational exposure to several different sub styles of jazz dance; movements and expressions in this course are featured in their annual performance of The Nutcracker!
Lyrical and Contemporary – These classes marry the beauty and expression of ballet, jazz, modern, and more! Basic knowledge of jazz and ballet movements is required; special permission may be granted to first year students who desire to take lyrical alongside two other technical classes on a case-by-case basis.
Musical Theater– Natural performers, theater nerds, and Broadway fans unite! This musical theater program covers a comprehensive educational exposure to musicals, from the golden era Broadway to modern hits such as Six and Hadestown.
Tap – Tap rose in the 19th century as a dance form combining African tribal dance, English clogging and Irish jigs, among other styles. Students will learn a mix of Broadway tap (stylized for theater) and rhythm tap (the art form of tap dancing).
Hip Hop – Combines body isolations with locking and popping techniques. Students will learn basic movements and then work on creating combos in their unique individual style. This is a fun and high-energy dance style.
Acro and Acro Fusion – From basic brain/body connective movements to complex sequences inspired from performance companies like Cirque Du Soleil, their Acro classes emphasize safety and body awareness at every ability. They also offer Mini-Acro (best suited for students age 3-6) and Acro A (best suited for students age 7-10) which cover essential building blocks of self-understanding and strength building as the foundation for tricks such as handstands, cartwheels, rolls, and more!
Stretch and Conditioning – Gain confidence, strength, endurance, and maximize your physical and mental ability in their S&C class. The course approaches strength building movement from a trauma-informed, functional anatomy standpoint, meaning they will never push students beyond their abilities and ensure to empower them with tools for rest and recovery. Stretch and Conditioning is a drop-in friendly class open to current students, adults, and even non dancers!
Dance Medicine – A student-centered approach to dance, movement, and the expression of the internal world. Participants will use a medley of dance styles such as contemporary, lyrical, modern, ballet, and jazz in combination with co-regulatory exercises and bodywork techniques to deepen their relationship with dance and self-expression. Students will also learn how to co-create a dance number and set choreography for the spring recital.
Somatic Dance Exercise – Dance Medicine for adults! A participant-centered approach to dance, movement, and the expression of the internal world. Participants will use a medley of dance styles in combination with co-regulatory exercises, brain-body connective strategies, yoga, and bodywork techniques to deepen their relationship with movement and the embodiment of their inner narrative.
According to Sara, many styles of dance have their root instruction from ballet, and require ballet training in order to perform the sequences at their highest level, “…not everyone really understands this. Ballet uses so many small accessory muscles and requires a huge amount of focus to control them and that adds to other types of dancing,” Sara said. “I have had a number of kids who have decided that they are not going to take ballet because they have a preconceived notion of what it is. Then as they learn more, they begin to notice all of the kids who are at the most advanced level have all taken ballet, and that is a huge part of how they reached that level.”
Sara also pointed out that once her students become engaged and are learning ballet, they realize its so much more than what they thought, “Some see ballet as just soft pretty movements, and not much else, but when the kids discover ballet is a framework for other types of dance they appreciate and respect it, and then they want to learn more.”
*Some classes have special requirements, click here for more details.
Bainbridge Ballet is located at 9720 Coppertop Loop NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 / walk in office hours are as follows: Monday 11am-4pm, Tuesday 1pm-3pm, Wednesday 1pm-4pm, Thursday 1pm-2:30pm, Friday 1pm-3pm / email: firstname.lastname@example.org / phone: (206)842-1205 / Bainbridge Ballet
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