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.  



NCBW Hosts 17th Annual Black Pioneer Women Of Excellence Awards

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Chattanooga Chapter, Inc. will honor three community leaders at its 17th Annual Black Pioneer Women of Excellence Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 28, at 11:30 a.m. at Hawkinsville Missionary Baptist Church.  This year’s honorees are Dorothy Lee Grisham for achievements in Entrepreneurship; Mildred Moreland for achievements in ... (click for more)

Thriving Communities Invite Regional Participation In Placemaking Events

Over the next two weeks, the Thriving Communities of Athens, Whitwell, Decatur, and Fort Oglethorpe are hosting a second round of pop-up events that continue to celebrate their distinctive identities and encourage community engagement.  The process of the Thriving Communities placemaking program, championed by Thrive Regional Partnership and the Lyndhurst Foundation, ... (click for more)

Federal Jury Finds Gillispie Guilty Of 6 Counts In Sex Trafficking Case

A federal jury on Wednesday morning found Corrie Gillispie guilty of six counts in his sex trafficking trial. Gillispie was ruled guilty of two counts of sex trafficking, two counts of kidnapping, one count of transporting a person across state lines for prostitution, and one count of money laundering.  The panel found him not guilty of another charge of transporting ... (click for more)

Attorney Says There Was No Valid Reason To Euthanize Monteagle Family's Pet Raccoon Boomer

A Chattanooga attorney who specializes in wildlife cases says there was no valid reason for health officials to have euthanized a pet raccoon belonging to a family in Monteagle. Candace Bone said the family had owned "Boomer" for three years after getting her from an approved raccoon farm. She said, "We are all devastated. He was just like a baby to us. Boomer slept between ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Teacher's Pay Cut

The Hamilton County School Board will hold a “working session” Thursday afternoon as steps continue to formulate the FY2019 budget and it is a frightening process in a badly-broken system. Everybody knows it is equally embarrassing and after watching teachers who “have had enough” go on strikes in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky this spring, I guarantee you that Tennessee is ... (click for more)