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.  


Free Meter Parking On Independence Day

The Chattanooga Parking Authority has announced downtown parking meters will not be enforced (and need not be paid) on Monday in honor of the Independence Day holiday. Parking in an unlawful area or manner (bus or loading zones, yellow curb, no parking, handicap space, Fort Wood Residential District, etc.) is enforceable 24 hours / seven days a week. Additionally Bus ... (click for more)

Erlanger Accepting Registrations For Chattanooga Heroes Run/Walk On July 16

The Chattanooga Heroes Run/Walk, presented by Erlanger’s Level One Trauma Center, will take place on Saturday, July 16 beginning at 8 a.m.  The event features a five mile run or walk that begins on Amnicola Highway at the Naval Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center, follows part of the path that EMS took last July 16 down Amnicola Highway, connects to the ... (click for more)

County Commission Gives Up Fight On $900,000 In Discretionary Funds

County Commission members have given up the fight for the annual $900,000 in discretionary funds. Commission Chairman Chester Bankston said there was not enough money available after requests from a number of agencies and departments were cut to balance the budget without a tax increase. Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said the fact that commissioners can no longer allot the ... (click for more)

Bridge Repair Over 12th Street To Cause Temporary Lane Closure On US 27

While investigating a pothole in the bridge on U.S. 27 North over 12 th Street in the construction zone, crews discovered a potential weak spot in the bridge deck that could over time result in more damage to the bridge deck.  For the safety of the traveling public, the outside lane in this area will be closed until the contractor makes necessary repairs, TDOT officials ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (2)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Story You Won’t See

In a puzzling time when the big daily newspapers have veered strongly away from “all the news that is fit to print,” allow me to share a story that you very likely will not see on CNN, ABC News, or in the big media conglomerates that influence the way you think, the way you react and – as a result – easily warp our common senses. This story is very true. Late last Sunday afternoon, ... (click for more)