Summer Dance On All Levels At Ballet Tennessee

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Every July two very dynamic and distinct dance programs take off at Ballet Tennessee.  The first is a three-week national-level ballet intensive called BTSI.  Students audition in the spring for entrance into the program that brings staff from both regional and national dance companies.  Each day they attend classes in conditioning, ballet technique, pointe technique/variations, jazz/musical theater, and choreography.  The mental, physical, and artistic stamina these young dancers gain is an asset in their continued development in dance, as well as being applicable in careers that may not be in the performing arts. 

Ballet Tennessee faculty Errin Cusack, Hannah Locke, Jenison Owens, and Lindsay Pierce are the core staff supporting the guest artists.  The guest instructors this year are Brian Gephart and Jere Hunt.  Mr. Gephart just completed his third season dancing with Atlantic Ballet Theater of Canada.  He completed his dance training with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, NC.  Mr. Gephart brings strong classical ballet technique and riveting ballet choreography to the intensive.  This is his second year as a master instructor for BTSI.

Jere Hunt completed his training with a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan.  In 2010 Mr. Hunt joined Rioult Dance New York.  He brings a wonderful foundational Graham modern technique class to the ballet intensive.  Mr. Hunt’s modern choreography is intricate and dynamic incorporating movement phrases created by the dancers. 

In addition to Mr. Hunt’s master instruction for the Ballet Tennessee Summer Intensive, he is also the lead teacher for Ballet Tennessee’s Dance Alive program.  Ballet Tennessee faculty Brittany Johnson-Mills, Hannah Locke, and Jenison Owens are the core teaching staff.  BTSI dancers, Emma Caines and Nia Sanders, are assistants to the teaching staff for Dance Alive.

Dance Alive is a two-week introductory dance program. This year marks the 18th year of the partnership between Ballet Tennessee and the Department of Youth and Family Development. Students from recreation centers are transported to Ballet Tennessee located at John A. Patten Recreation Center in Lookout Valley. Students are greeted at the door each morning where they begin two hours of dance instruction and choreography.  The children help to create movement patterns that the instructors then incorporate into the choreography.  Selected by an audition process, the students are all on full scholarship for the two-week program.  Both Brittany Johnson-Mills and Jenison Owens were Dance Alive, and later, Talent Identification Program scholars through their high school years.  Their study through all the Ballet Tennessee programs makes them vital assets in Dance Alive.  .

Both of these inspiring summer programs culminate in a FREE public performance Friday, July 25, at 6 p.m.  The performance is at the UTC Fine Arts Center on the corners of Palmetto and Vine Streets.  


Road Closings Announced For Collegedale Fireworks

Apison Pike will be shut down between Swinyar Drive and Ooltewah Ringgold Road, s tarting at  5 p.m.  on Thursday for the Collegedale fireworks display . The stretch will not be reopened until sometime after  10:30 p.m. Officials ask that everyone be aware of increased pedestrian traffic after the fireworks. The Collegedale Police Department's ... (click for more)

Weekend Street Closures

Here are the special event weekend road closures.      Friday, July 3:  Nightfall will take place from 5-11 p.m.  This week’s event has extended street closures and will close at 5 p.m.  Please read below for full closure.  Market Street from 10th Street to 8th Street will be closed; Martin Luther King Boulevard from Broad Street to Houston ... (click for more)

Settlement Reached In Case That Was County's Largest Verdict Award; Will Avoid Any Appeals Of Canyon Ridge Litigation

A settlement has been reached in the case in which a Hamilton County Circuit Court jury awarded over $32 million to Chattanooga developer Duane Horton in connection with a resort project on Lookout Mountain that never got off the ground. Circuit Court Judge J.B. Bennett said the two sides had informed him that it was agreed during a mediation session he ordered that there would ... (click for more)

Judge Wants Proof That Signal Mountain Man Made "True Threat" Against Muslim Town; Robert Doggart Allowed Home Confinement

Federal Judge Curtis Collier has directed attorneys who worked out a plea deal for a Signal Mountain man who admitted plotting to kill Muslims in a town in Upstate New York to show that it was "a true threat." And, Federal Magistrate Susan K. Lee has reversed her earlier ruling and allowed 63-year-old Robert Rankin Doggart to go free pending disposition of the case. Prosecutor ... (click for more)

Police Need To Stop The Road Cowboys

Where is our highway patrol?  If they were known to regularly patrol our interstate highways through our city I don't think it would take long before the "truckers" were aware of it.  There are places in our country where this is the case.   When I have traveled Interstates 24 and 75 I may see the occasional car pulled over but rarely if ever is it an 18-wheeler. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

As the month of July dawns this morning, a walk through my garden shows some flowers blooming, my marigolds dying, and the grass is greener than I thought it would be. But as I look for what’s good and what’s bad, let’s remember that some firecrackers pop while others fizzle. Here we go… A BANG to career criminal Whitely Bulger, the 85-year-old master criminal who in a recent ... (click for more)