Our August 2014 Dancer of the Month : Madeline

Madeline is a rising 11th grader entering into her ninth year of dancing at The Dancer's 
Studio in Kennesaw.  Her love for dance develops from the creativity and emotion that comes from the movements of the art.  Madeline is an accomplished competition dancer 
and her achievements include many Platinum, Judges' and Overall awards for her solos in the past 4 years.  She has also received several High Gold/Platinum awards for her group pieces.  Hoping to pursue a successful modeling and dance career in the future, Madeline keeps her priorities and dreams in mind so she can keep pushing forward to reach her goals.

Our February 2015 Dancer of the Month : Sophie

Sophie Basarrate, age 16, joined the San Francisco Ballet School, under the direction of Patrick Armand, in the advanced level after participating in the summer intensive in July, 2014. Sophie is in 10th grade at International High School in San Francisco. Prior to relocating to San Francisco, Sophie was a student at the Atlanta International School. She studied ballet with Fiona Fairrie in 2013 and 2014. From the age of four through 2012, Sophie was a student at the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education under the direction of Dean Sharon Story. At Atlanta Ballet, she was invited to join the Pre-Professional Division of the school at age 11. 
Highlights of Sophie's ballet performing have included dancing in Twyla Tharp's world premiere at Atlanta Ballet of "The Princess and the Goblin", 
when she and her partner Kevin Silverstein were mentioned in reviews of the ballet in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She also enjoyed performing in the Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker for many years, as well as company productions of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Don Quixote, and Dracula. While studying with Fionna Fairrie, Sophie performed in the Georgia Ballet Gala and as one of the Clara's in the Georgia Ballet's Nutcracker. Sophie also participated in Youth America Grand Prix with coaching from Ms. 
Fairrie. Orlando Molina, and Kristin D'Addario. Sophie has been fortunate to attend numerous ballet summer intensives, including three summers at the School of American Ballet, the 5-week young dancer summer program of Boston Ballet, and the Young Dancer Summer Workshop at American Ballet Theatre. Sophie is fluent in Spanish and studies Mandarin Chinese, and she has been blessed to travel to China, Costa Rica, Argentina, France, England, and Spain.

Our June 2016 Dancer of the Month: Layla

Layla started dancing in her mother’s ballet class when she was a student at Meadows Montessori School. From there, she attended The Georgia Ballet and Steppin Out Performing Arts Center (SOPAC). While at SOPAC, Layla danced competitively and attended numerous dance conventions. 

She earned the 2014 Junior Titan Dancer and Armor of Education Award, 2014 Junior Miss Starpower Title for Atlanta, 2014 and 2015 NUVO Breakout Artist Runner Up Awards, 2015 Top

Ten VIP and Title Award, 2015 Revolution First Runner Up Title, and the 2015 International Dance Challenge Center Stage Award.  Layla has also performed at the North Georgia State Fair numerous times with SOPAC, and she was invited to dance at the 2015 Angels of Life Hair and Fashion Show as Cat Woman. 

Under the guidance of Musashi Alvarez, Layla placed third at the 2015 Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) with a contemporary solo in Atlanta, GA.  She went on to compete at the 2015 YAGP Finals in New York City. Layla is currently a student at the International City School of Ballet, training for her next performance. 9+

Our 2016 January Dancer of the Month: Anya 

Anya started dancing when she was four years old. She trains at Atlanta Academy of Ballet and Dance under the direction of Susan Banks Beebe in the Atlanta Ballet Theatre curriculum. In 2012 and 2013, she attended American Ballet Thatre’s Young Dancer Summer Workshop in NYC. In 2013, she also attended the two week intensive with the Orlando Ballet. During the summers of 2014 and 2015, she attended the ABT Summer Intensive in NYC.

She is honored to be named an ABT National Training Scholar for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. She was privileged to watch Maria Kochetkova as Odette/Odile in ABT’s Swan Lake, and Marianela Nunezas Cinderella in NYC last summer.  Anya has performed the Sugar Plum Fairy variation, Aurora Act 3 variation,

and the Giselle Act 1 variation at YAGP.  For her studio, she danced the Flower Pas de Deux in Alice in Wonderland, and participated in A Christmas Carol, and The Little Mermaid.  She has been cast asthe Princess and the Summer Fairy for her studio’s production of Cinderella this March.

Our June 2014 Dancer of the Month : Audrey

Audrey has been dancing with the North Atlanta Dance Academy under the direction of Michael Garrison for the past 4 years and has been a member of their professional company, North Atlanta Dance Theatre for two years. She loves the studio life and finds performing exciting! She has performed in Mr. Garrison's original ballet Pirates of the Phantom Waves, ‘Aurora's Wedding’ from Sleeping Beauty, numerous roles in their Nutcracker, original works for summer intensives and fall showcases, and at the Johns

Creek Festival.

Audrey will be entering high school this year and is honored to be a junior board member of the Tyler Safarriyeh Foundation. The foundation will be celebrating their annual day of Random Acts of Kindness on June 5th. For more information about the Tyler Safarriyeh Foundation, please visit their website at www.tylersway.com.

Our September 2016 Dancer of the Month: Payton DuPont!

My name is Payton DuPont, and I am 15 years old. I began training in ballet at age 4, at Suwannee Academy of the Arts. At age 10, I started dancing at North Atlanta Dance Academy, and studied with them for 5 years. This year I began my training at the Fiona Fairrie Ballet Conservatory. I am very thankful for all of my teachers, past and present, for helping me on my journey thus far. 

In 2015, I competed in Youth American Grand Prix, where I placed Top 12 in both the classical and contemporary division.  As a result, I was offered a scholarship to Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s Summer Intensive in Connecticut.  After training for them for 6 weeks, I was selected to attend the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia for the 2015-2016 year. I have also attended summer intensives at Houston Ballet in 2014, and Ellison Ballet in New York City this past summer. I’m very happy to be Dancer of the Month, and I’d like to thank Zanne Bedore Photography for an amazing shoot! 

Our April 2015 Dancer of the Month : Makayla

Hi! I’m Makayla and I am 9 years old! I started dancing when I was 4 and competing at 5! I currently study all forms of dance from Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and my favorite – Lyrical at Christine’s School of Dance; aka West Cobb Dance Explosion! Dancing makes me HAPPY and I love to perform on the big stage! In my fourth season of competitive dance, I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best choreographers and dancers in the business! My favorite was the Dance Awards in NYC last summer when I got to take class with Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Nick Lazzarini (he’s really funny) and Stacey Tookey! Plus I got spend a whole week in NYC!

This year I wanted to challenge myself and chose to do a contemporary solo to a song with no words! I’ve competed it twice this year, and took first place overall at NRG Dance Project and 5th place overall at Showbiz. I’m looking forward to our upcoming competitions at NYCDA and JUMP. Although doing solo’s is fun, I love competing with my dance team! We are all very close and have a lot of fun together. I have 2 favorite group routines this year - Hip Hop because I get to let go and we all hit every move hard and of course our Lyrical routine because I love the choreography, the song, and well – EVERYTHING about it!

When I am not dancing; which isn’t very often, I like playing with my friends and just being a kid! I like to play with Legos, shoot my Nerf Rebelle arrows, ride my scooter and jump on my trampoline.

Our May 2016 Dancer of the Month: Ella

I’m Ella Mott and I’m 12 years old.  I’ve been dancing since I was 3. I have two older ballerina sisters that I grew up watching and I know I wanted to dance as soon as I was old enough! My oldest sister, Anna, was diagnosed with brain cancer when she was 16,

so it’s my honor to use my dancing to bring awareness to childhood cancer as part of The Truth365’s Dancer vs Cancer campaign and any other way that I can.  

I’ve been accepted to wonderful summer intensives, including Miami City Ballet, Houston Ballet, The Kirov Academy and more.  I’m excited to be attending the International Ballet Intensive this summer on scholarship. 

I’m very blessed to have had excellent training for the last 9 years. This year, I started studying with Fiona Fairrie Ballet Conservatory and dancing during the daytime, which has been a wonderful experience. I loved performing in a group piece at YAGP that was invited to New York! 

I hope to keep growing as a dancer and one day join the Miami City Ballet.

Our September 2014 Dancer of the Month : Lydia

Lydia began dancing at the age of 4 in a fun class for toddlers. One day after class, the
dance teacher asked Lydia's mom to watch something. The teacher grabbed one of Lydia's ankles and quickly raised her foot to her ear! The teacher then exclaimed, "This girl needs to be a dancer"! Lydia has been dancing ever since and at the age of 13 has already accomplished much.

After dancing at a competition studio that focused primarily on jazz and contemporary pieces, Lydia was introduced to classical ballet and discovered an unexpected love of it. 
Four years ago she began training at The Royal Dance Academy in Suwanee and liked it so much, she joined their daytime conservatory program. Lydia studies vocational syllabi developed at The Royal Academy in London and takes graded ballet examinations each spring. She hopes to complete her RAD Advanced Foundation syllabus next.

Lydia has enjoyed traveling to competitions and has competed at the New York City Dance Alliance, Youth America Grand Prix and the American Ballet Competition in Boston. She was especially proud to attend the Pacific Northwest Ballet's intensive in Seattle this past summer. She is looking forward to continuing to improve her ballet technique and competing in events like YAGP, ABC and auditioning for great summer programs next year.

Our January 2015 Dancer of the Month : Sarah

Sarah is an eighth grade student at South Forsyth Middle School. Sarah began dancing at North Atlanta Dance Academy (NADA) when she was 5 years old and is enjoying her second year as a company member with North Atlanta Dance Theatre (NADT). In the past seven productions of The Nutcracker, she has danced as an angel, mouse, soldier, party boy, party girl, small fairy, lead & side Chinese, lead Pocinelle, Party Maid, Snowflake & 
Marzipan. Sarah has also performed in NADT’s Fall Showcase in 2013 and 2014, Aurora’s Wedding in the spring of 2014, and the performance program of the summer intensives at NADA in 2013 and 2014. When she is not dancing, Sarah enjoys reading, listening to music, playing with her dog and spending time with her friends and family.

Dancer of the MonthFittings

Our August 2016 Dancer of the Month: Gabrielle

Hi, I’m Gabrielle! I’m 17 years old, and I currently study at Dance Dynamics Studio in Macon, GA. Aside from competing with my studio, some of my favorite dance experiences so far include Joffrey Ballet School’s NYC Summer Intensive, Dancerpalooza, the Dance Awards in Las Vegas, and the Commercial Dance Intensive at UNCSA. 

Whether I’m teaching class, performing onstage, or choreographing in my bedroom, I’m always happy as long as I’m dancing!

Thank you DanceMax and Zanne Bedore Photography for this amazing opportunity- it’s going to be a great year!! 

Britta has accepted her scholarship from Ballet West and will be attending their summer intensive beginning in June. 

At age 11, Britta was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  She spent the first two weeks of her diagnoses in the hospital learning how to care for herself by taking insulin shots, finger pricks, and counting carbs.  Every day is difficult with this disease which makes being such an intense dancer that much more difficult.  Despite the constant battle of TiD it has helped her grow into a more mentally and physically stronger person. It forces her to be more determined and work harder to prove to others that a disease cannot define her.  Over the years, Britta has also had the amazing opportunity of attending a camp just for Type 1 Diabetics called Camp Kudzu. This camp has allowed her to meet other Type 1 diabetic teens her age, and create lifelong friendships. 

Britta's career goal is to join a professional company and eventually become a first solaist or principal dancer with companies such as Ballet West or Houston Ballet. However, being a Type 1 Diabetic dancer, her other aspersions are to not only raise awareness but inspire other Type 1 Diabetics to not let their disease define them in the minds of others.

Our May 2015 Dancer of the Month : Maddie

Hi, I'm Maddie and I'm 6 years old!  I've been dancing since I was 2 years old at Dance and Music Academy of Woodstock.  I have studied ballet, tap and I'm currently taking ballet and hip hop. 

I have performed in 3 recitals, and I'm looking forward to performing hip hop in my 4th recital later this month. When I'm not dancing, I enjoy playing with my friends, being outside, swimming, and playing basketball.

Our April 2016 Dancer of the Month: Britta

Britta is 15 years old and has been dancing for 8 years,  Britta began to dance with Steps Dance Center in Woodstock, GA at the age of 7, before turning 8 she transitioned to The Georgia Ballet to purse her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina. Britta has received many special award and recognitions throughout the years, these include : 

2013-Invited by Claudio Munoz of Houston Ballet to the YAGP New York City Finals Scholarship Classes, danced Waltz of the Flowers with The Georgia Ballet Professional Company and also was Clara in "The Nutcracker."
2014 - Was offered a scholarship to attend Charlotte Ballet Summer Intensive, performed as White Rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland" with Atlanta Academy of Ballet, was selected as a model to sketch for the "Isadora Duncan Exhibit" at the Marietta Museum of Art
2015 - Became a Student Trainee with The Georgia Ballet Professional Company, Performed alongside the company in "Copelia" as Mazurka corps and the Waltz of the Hours corps, performed as Arabian corps, Waltz of the Flowers, Waltz of the Snowflakes, and Clara in The Georgia Ballet's "The Nutcracker"
2016 - Invited to attend summer intensives and offered scholarships with: Milwaukee Ballet and Ballet West, performed 7 pieces in the Georgia Ballet's professional company's show "Dancers up Close," including the student trainee piece choreographed by Britta and Tessa Castellano performed in a piece by Angela Harris in her company's show "Dance Canvas 2016" 

Our 2016 February Dancer of the Month: Lindsey

My name is Lindsey Wawprzyniak. I love to dance and model.  My dream when I’m older is to be on the So You Think You Can Dance TV show!  I’ve been dancing since I was 3 years old an I started competing at age 7. I also would love to model for a dancewear magazine.  

Some interesting things about me is that I am not he Eisenhower Varsity Dance Team and I dance at Underground Dance Company. My favorite TC show is So You Think You Can Dance and Dance Moms! I hope to become a professional model and dancer, and I’m so thankful to be a model for Zanne Bedore and DanceMax Dancewear! 

Our March 2015 Dancer of the Month : Copelyn

Copelyn began dancing at the age of 3 at the British Academy of Performing Arts. She transferred studios to Georgia Metropolitan Dance theater on the Marietta Square where she continued studying and doing what she loves. Now she is part of the Kennesaw State 

University dance team, known as the Flight Squad, and can't get enough of cheering for the KSU Owls. When she isn't dancing you can find her hanging out with friends and her sisters of Kappa Delta at some of their favorite restaurants and shopping spots.

Our December 2014 Dancer of the Month : TJ

I am 12 years old and I am in the 7th grade! I've been dancing for 7 1/2 years and have been on pointe since the age of 10! From that day forward, my passion for dance grew! I attended YAGP Tampa in January of this year and was invited to compete in New York City for the finals in April!

Ballet is my favorite style of dance but I also do modern, tap, jazz, and musical theater! Dancing is way for me to express how I feel.  I was in public school from kindergarten through fourth grade before I became homeschooled. I was bullied a lot in public school 
and I wasn't brave enough to stand up for myself. Dancing gives me the ability to show how I feel without saying a thing!

I currently dance at Atlanta Academy of Ballet and Dance (AABD). I am in the Professional Trainee program at AABD which is level 6/7! My two favorite dance companies are Ballet West and the American Ballet Theater. I would love to dance for either of them in the future.

Our November 2014 Dancer of the Month : Teddy

Teddy has been dancing with The Georgia Ballet since he was 5 years old. The only reason he agreed to take a class was because waiting in the lobby while his sister danced was “too borrrrrrring.” He is 10 and in his sixth year of classes and loves taking lessons from School Principal Orlando Molina. His favorite thing about dancing is hanging out with his friends -- Boys' Class is awesome -- and performing in “The Nutcracker” and recitals.

When he isn't dancing, Teddy is busy with computers and robots. He enjoys taking machines apart and putting them back together. He has even done maintenance on our home computers and installed a new garbage disposal! He reads a lot, especially nonfiction like stories about the Titanic or other real-life disasters. Teddy has been in the 
Target gifted program since first grade and plans to one day become a famous inventor 
or engineer.

Our July 2014 Dancer of the Month : Anna

Anna has been dancing for almost 7 years and has a continued passion for dance. She 
currently trains at Atlanta Academy of Ballet and Dance with Ms. Susan Beebe. She assists Ms. Beebe with a lower level ballet class on Saturday mornings. Anna took the American Ballet Theatre exam last summer and passed with Merit and scored 2nd in her level.

She just graduated from high school and plans on attending Kennesaw State University in the fall to major in Exercise and Health Science and continue in her love of dance. She hopes to use dance throughout her career as she wants to become a physical therapist specializing in sport and dance injury recovery, and teach ballet. No matter what, dance will always be a part of her.

Our October 2014 Dancer of the Month : Erica

I am 16 years old and began dancing at the age of 5.  To be honest, I detested dancing, but somehow I couldn’t get myself to quit.  Finally, at the age of 11, I became truly passionate about dancing and have been strictly training since then.  I’m in my 11th year of training at the Georgia Ballet. Over the past three summers I have been able to attend intensives at School of American Ballet, Ellison Ballet and Houston Ballet In addition to being accepting into the prestigious summer intensives, I received half and full scholarships to attend many large schools including Houston Ballet, Ellison Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet.  I am hoping to attend the Houston Ballet’s year-round program in the upcoming year.

I competed in YAGP for the first time this year.  I performed two different Paquita solos and a contemporary solo.  I placed in the Top 12 in both the Classical and Contemporary categories.  I also received a half scholarship to the Washington Ballet’s Summer Intensive.  I am looking forward to what the upcoming years bring me and I am striving to become a better dancer that I am today.

Our July 2016 Dancer of the Month: Megan

Megan began training at the Lawrenceville School of Ballet under the direction of Phyllis Allen and later, at age ten, under the guidance of former ABT soloist Victoria Leigh. At age eleven, she continued training at the Atlanta Ballet where she performed various roles in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker from a party boy to a pink lamb.  In 2013, she was chosen by current ballet mistress, Sarah Hilmer to represent Atlanta Ballet’s pre-professional division in her piece, “Thank You For,” at SERBA.  In 2014, Megan began training with Georne Aucoin and Musashi Alvarez at the International City School of Ballet, where she was cast in the lead role of “Amita” in the debut of the contemporary ballet For the Common Good.  Dystopia, one to eh works in For the Common Good, received second place at YAGP Atlanta and was performed at YAGP New York Finals later that year.  In 2015, Megan performed the roles of Dolls, Snow, and Flowers in the Nutcracker. In 2016, Megan had a soloist role in the ensemble piece “Broken Limits”, choreographed by Justin Allen of The Rock School.  “Broken Limits” received first place at YAGP Atlanta in the Ensemble Category, and finished in the top twelve at the YAGP New York Finals. Megan also placed top twelve in both the classical and contemporary categories at YAGP Atlanta.  In the spring of 2016, Megan danced the roles of “Willis soloist,” “Pas de Quatre”, “Friends”, and “Waltz Corps” in the International City School of Ballet’s full-length production of Giselle.

Megan has participated in a variety of summer intensives each year since turning eleven, including American Ballet Theatre in New York, Chautauqua, Orlando Ballet, and others.  During Megan’s summer dance training she has also performed the “Grand Pas Classique” pas de deux and variation, “Paquita”, and the “Romeo and Juliet” balcony pas de deux.

Currently, Megan is looking forward to an exciting year with the Ballet Institute of Atlanta. 

Our March 2016 Dancer of the Month: Cailin

I’m 18 years old and I’ve been dancing since I was four. I’m in my third year at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where I just finished performing Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations in the Winter Dance Concert. 

I’ve attended summer intensives at Caroline Ballet, UNCSA, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and Charlotte Ballet. I hope to have a successful career in dance, but if I weren’t a dancer, I would want to be a writer.

When I grow up, I want to be many things! I hope to be a choreographer, photographer and work with sea animals. Who knows – maybe I can find a job that allows me to do all 3!