Asheville’s professional ballet company, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and Michele Lee’s Center Stage Dance Studio come together to present the third annual showing of some of Asheville’s finest young talent. Nine pre-professional dancers, called The Muses of Terpsicorps, have committed to months of classes and rehearsals in order to put on this exciting mixed repertory program. The program is only in its third year and already can boast former members who have gone on to the high school dance department at UNC School of the Arts, the Boston Conservatory, the dance program at George Washington University, the prestigious Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet high school program and a career in commercial dance in Los Angeles.
This year's precocious artists, ages 8th grade through high school, will perform a variety of works displaying a range of abilities. The program includes Heather Maloy's “Run Ragged”, originally created for Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, as well as new contemporary and neo-classical works by Heather Maloy. Excerpts from traditional classical works, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Napoli” will also be performed. This is the last year in Asheville for several of the students who will be going on to the high school dance program at UNC School of the Arts. One student has also been offered a scholarship to the apprenticeship program at the Joffrey Ballet in New York.
Terpsicorps artistic director, Heather Maloy, has been teaching alongside a talented staff of instructors at Center Stage since relocating to Asheville in 2003. Since then, the school’s ballet program has grown greatly and the students are not only winning awards at competitions, but gaining entrance into programs that will push them further down the road to professional careers in dance. In the past six years, thirteen Center Stage students have been accepted into the UNC School of the Arts’ high school & college dance program, arguably one of the finest and most competitive in the nation, as well as into the dance programs at Boston Conservatory, Florida State University, and the Alvin Ailey School in NY. Other students have started their professional careers performing with the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Lydia Johnson Dance Company.
The close tie that Center Stage has with Terpsicorps, brings with it many benefits for their students. The Terpsicorps Summer Intensive affords them to see professionals rehearse first hand. This year, Jeff Ewing will be the fifth former Center Stage student to apprentice and perform with Terpsicorps. He will be joined by three young Center Stage trainees in this year's Terpsicorps performance “The Many Deaths of Edward Gorey”. Terpsicorps’ dancers are hand picked from professional companies across the country and come to Asheville every summer to perform works by Heather Maloy. Apprenticing with them is not only an inspirational learning experience, but also an invaluable networking opportunity. The dancers on the June performance alone will represent five of the nation’s finest companies.