High Ground News: "These dancers are talented, passionate, and staying in Memphis to teach."

December 24th, 2020

Read the full article from High Ground News.

How did its teaching artists find their way to New Ballet Ensemble and School? For LeAnthony Douglas, it was hip hop. London Bruce was introduced to the company through theater.

No two paths were the same, but many came first as young students.

Tomisha Edwards' middle-school church youth group took a week of New Ballet dance classes. As a youth, she also rehearsed musical dance numbers there with Hattiloo Theatre, which is one of several community organizations that rents space at the New Ballet studios. After spending several years away from Memphis earning a degree in dance and working as a professional dancer, Edwards returned to the company as a teacher three seasons ago. 

“There’s something rewarding about teaching in your hometown,” said Edwards. “I had those special people in my life who introduced me to dance and now I get to be that person for somebody else," said Edwards.

These performers-turned-teachers are passionate and talented. They could find success in a bigger city with more performance opportunities, but they've chosen to stay in Memphis.

“New Ballet is home,” said Bruce. “Especially when you’ve grown up in the program from such a young age—you build friendships, you build a love. It’s such a family environment that it attracts you and makes you want to stay.”

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