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#1 Donna Armistead

Donna Armistead

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 06:11 AM

As a lifelong dancer, and later teacher and choreographer, I'm delighted to have found this site. It occurred while I was doing a Web search for information on my first teacher Joanna Kneeland, founder of the Imperial Studios of Ballet in Palm Beach, FL. I began my training in Florida at age 4-1/2; one of my earliest memories is of our guest teacher Michael Maule telling us not to let the circle get "teeny-weeny." Posted Image I was in Miss Joanna's test group for her system of applied kinesiology and still teach the Therapeutic Barre to my students.

I continued my studies with Marie Hale (founder of Ballet Florida) and Ruth Petrinovic, went to the Harkness Ballet summer school in 1968, then decided to train as a teacher. Guess you can say I played the "minors," dancing with the Miami Ballet, Ballet Dance Theatre of Boston, and Buffalo (NY) Ballet Theatre - teaching, continuing my training when finances permitted, and learning the art of choreography. The big city life was just not for me. From 1988 to 1999 I was director of the Superior School of Dance in Houghton/Hancock, MI, where I still teach part-time following a chronic knee injury. I've since branched out into theatre directing and costume design and was proud to earn a master's degree (at age 50!) from Washington University in St. Louis.

My students make me proud too. One runs a ballet school and company with her husband in Buffalo; another is ballet master of an opera company in Sweden; one has performed with the Houston Ballet; and still another (a beautiful, strong, gifted modern dancer/teacher/guest artist) has just gotten her MFA from SUNY/Brockport. But all my students - even the ones who don't pursue dance as a career - make me proud and happy.

Glad to be here!
Donna


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