Miss Lauren Heard of Division 4 is our August Student of the Month!
A little more than 12 years ago, my now 16-year-old daughter announced she would like to become a ballerina. Having danced for many years, I felt armed with the knowledge to choose a reputable teacher who would impart not only a technically strong dance background, but who would also instill a love for the beauty and elegance of this timeless sport. With my 4-year-old in tow, I began my trek through the Oklahoma City and Edmond dance communities seeking this utopia. At one of the last stops, I marveled as my child was drawn into the ballet class we were watching. Standing in the doorway, she began mimicking the movements of the beautifully captivating teacher we now know as Lisa Webb. Under Lisa's guidance, Academy of Ballet and Theater Arts has exceeded my expectations, offering invaluable opportunities and exceptional training, allowing my daughter Andrea to grow and realize her dream of becoming a ballerina.
I'm grateful that my daughters have danced at ABTA. Lisa Webb helps each student meet her potential as a dancer by teaching solid ballet technique and providing first-class performance opportunities. In addition, she shares her strong connection to the professional world through her relationships with Tulsa Ballet and the Edward Ellison Ballet in NYC. Lisa never fails to go the extra mile for her students, often far beyond the studio. She attends Tulsa Ballet dress rehearsals and productions with her students, and has devoted many summer months to Pointe to the Future, Tulsa's summer intensive. She has arranged monthly Master Classes, taken students shopping to find the perfect pointe shoe, cheered them on at auditions, hosted parties to view performance videos, arranged photo shoots, written letters of recommendation to college ballet programs...her dedication to students is endless. But her biggest influence is in class, day after day, leading by example and demonstrating what can be achieved by hard work, dedication, and an optimistic attitude. She will embrace your dreams and help you attain any goal you set for yourself in dance, and the rewards of that discipline will carry you far in all aspects of life.
Pamela Fry, Ed.D.
Not having a dance background myself, I extensively researched the best possible ballet studios for my daughter who demonstrated an especially strong and serious interest in ballet. After visiting several studios in Oklahoma City and in Tulsa, my search led us to the Academy of Ballet and Theatre Arts in Edmond. From her very first weeks at ABTA, Emily began to thrive from Miss Lisa's exceptional knowledge and instruction and from being surrounded by other girls who also loved ballet. Now, after two and half years at ABTA, my daughter is receiving consistent and focused technique that is providing her the foundation to become a truly great dancer and to have a lifelong appreciation for and understanding of ballet. Perhaps the best indication of my belief in ABTA is that we drive a hour each way, four times per week to class! The quality of the ABTA ballet experience for my daugher is worth the commute.
My daughter has taken ballet classes from almost all major studios in the state and at a major studio in New York City, and I do not hesitate to say that Miss Lisa is the best -- especially for those students (and their parents) who are interested in quality classical ballet teaching. There are several characteristics that set Miss Lisa apart from others: an extensive knowledge of ballet and the ballet world, an approach that is very conscious of proper technique that avoids injury, and, perhaps most importantly, a personal interest in students' learning and growth both as a dancer and as a person. In addition, Miss Lisa's strong affiliation with Tulsa Ballet, a premier ballet company in America, provides unique opportunities for her students. For example, Miss Lisa works with Tulsa Ballet principals to offer master classes at the ABTA studio. My daughter also has had three opportunities to perform in Tulsa Ballet productions over the past two years.
My daughter recently performed in the 2009 recital, Don Quixote, which served as an amazing opportunity for her to perform in a full-length ballet production. Miss Lisa approached the recital in a very organized way. First, parents received timely and clear information about costumes and other logistics. Second, the students learned skills and variations early on that smoothly came together as we neared the production. The production itself was brilliantly orchestrated with professional backdrops and staging techniques. My husband and I greatly appreciated that Miss Lisa provided this wonderful performance opportunity for our daughter knowing that the production took countless extra hours of Miss Lisa's time and attention.