Dancers from Just Dance Studio Make Holiday Debuts at the Hippodrome and Kennedy Center
Natalie Edwards, 11, of Alexandria, who joined the U.S. touring production of Billy Elliot the Musical in September, will perform with the cast when it stops at The Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Dec. 18-30. Natalie has been studying dance for eight years under Sally Tierney, owner and director of Just Dance in the Fairfax County part of Alexandria, in the Belle View Shopping Center off Fort Hunt Road.
Other students and former students of Tierney's, Emma Feddo, Kailey O’Farrell, Elena Pipkin and Sydney Webster, will perform in Ballet West's Nutcracker at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 5-9. Emma, 11, has been dancing for six years; Kailey, 13, has been dancing for nine years, including six with Tierney; Elena, 12, has been dancing for nine years; and Sydney, 10, has been dancing for three years.
Tierney opened her school in 2003 for girls ages 3 through 12 for instruction in classical ballet, Broadway tap, Broadway jazz, Cecchetti and pointe. She has 25 years of teaching experience, is an American Ballet Theatre certified teacher and member of the Cecchetti Council of America and Dance Masters.
In the short period of time Tierney has been teaching in Alexandria, several of her students have pursued careers in dance and received college dance scholarships. In the past four years, students have been selected to dance with professional companies at the Kennedy Center and accepted into summer programs at the American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet School, Austin Ballet School and the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, D.C.
Tierney contributes her success in life to her strong dance training as a child and young adult. She derives extreme pleasure in sharing her love of dance with new children every year. Seeing the joy the children obtain from their hard work is her ultimate reward.
Training in classical ballet helps instill a sense of pride and accomplishment that can help improve self-esteem, according to the Child Development Institute, an organization that provides parenting information. As children begin to improve, they may gain a new sense of self-confidence, which can help in other areas of their lives. Classical ballet training can also help children develop grace, poise and self-assurance at an early age. Children who participate in dance and other activities related to the arts tend to perform at a higher level in school compared to their peers who do not, Family Talk Magazine suggests.