About 40 girls, ages 4-7, turned out for the studio’s inaugural morning and afternoon sessions of the Ballet Princess Workshop. each minicamp included 21/2 hours of crafts, dance, music and stories about love, hope, dreams, magic and all things princess.
“We’re really diving deep into each of the stories,” said Mary Cecelia Zechmann, one of the co-owners of Studio West. “It’s not the Disney version; it’s the classical ballet. we act out the story with classical music.”
Studio West began offering dance classes about four years ago. this is the first year it has held summer Ballet Princess Workshops, Zechmann said.
“I was a little bit nervous, but it’s just been lovely,” she said. “… Kids just love being princesses.”
Katie Niemann of Centralia watched through a studio window as 5-year-old daughter Abigail happily hopped, skipped and giggled with her friends to songs from “The Nutcracker.”
“I hope that she loves the arts and the theater and is exposed to that side of life,” Niemann said. “It’s never too early, that’s for sure.”
The class might have felt like a game to the girls because they were “freezing” into classic ballet positions when the music stopped. but Zechmann said she was hoping the girls would pick up some fundamentals on movement and rhythm along with some classical ballet moves and terminology.
“we can sway our arms so graceful with the music,” Zechmann slowly said.
In addition to time on the dance floor, the girls created craft projects that were related to the stories they had heard, such as magic wands, tutus and “Nutcracker” puppets.
It was a week to learn about princesses, and to learn how to pretend to be like one on and off the dance floor.
“my favorite is the Sugar Plum Fairy,” said 5-year-old Georgia Tourtillott.
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