A Note from the Director
Ashley Ballet is such a lovely place to dance at. They are so talented, professional and organized. My daughter has gained so much confidence in addition to developing her dance skills. My favorite part about Ashley Ballet is how dance is the focus not costumes and tutus.
ABAA Graduate Testimonials
When I decided to pursue a career in dance, I tried out nearly every option the Twin Cities had to offer (and there are countless)- but I have to say that making the decision to train at ABAA has made all the difference. Since the moment I first walked through that door I felt welcome, valued, and genuinely invested in, looking forward to class each day because I knew I would be challenged, learn new things, and enjoy myself. I got to experience so much that I had never before been exposed to; exponentially expanding my understanding of art and training my eye to see beauty even in unusual places.
On graduating from ABAA in January of 2017, I moved to Brazil to accept a trainee position with Ballet Magnificat, later being promoted to Operations Manager and getting to develop my skills outside the studio while still working very closely with ballet and dancers. I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have received a dance education that inspired me to work harder and gave me the tools to reach higher, enabling some of my biggest dreams to come true, both at the barre and beyond.
I am Ruth Sevlie, I am seventeen years old and I danced at ABAA for six years. I am currently dancing with the Sarasota Ballet as a trainee and as a part of the program, I will receive many opportunities to work and perform with the Sarasota Ballet Studio Company and even on occasion the opportunity to work with the main Sarasota Ballet Company.
Without my training at ABAA, I wouldn't have become the dancer I am today. Dancing at ABAA is were I really fell in love with the art of ballet and grew as an artist, person, and dancer. I learned countless things from the staff at ABAA that I will carry into the rest of my life and I feel so honored and blessed to have trained in such a wonderful atmosphere with such great instruction. Ashley and the rest of the faculty gave me everything I needed to move into this next part of my ballet career and I will forever be grateful to them for all the lessons they taught me and opportunities they gave me.
I would have to say the most important lesson I learned at ABAA is that ballet is a journey. It is not going to be easy but if you work hard and push beyond what you think you are capable of you can achieve things that you never thought possible. I would have to say my fondest memory at ABAA was during my last year when I had the honor of performing the role of Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker; it was such a special experience. My goal for the future is to dance with a big ballet company and get to do what I love for a living.
I am in my junior year at Butler University, where I am involved in residence life as a Resident Assistant for first year students, am running a board of Student Government as the Speaker of the Senate, serving on the Sexual Assault Prevention Taskforce with University administrators, and working towards my degree in Secondary Education. Though my current involvement does not involve the arts directly, the skills I developed and the lessons I learned from dancing prepared me in every way to take on these leadership positions.
One of the most important lessons that I learned at ABAA was that hard work and dedication will help you accomplish anything. Whether that was landing a dream role in a ballet or winning Student Government elections, your passion and the work you put in is what will make the greatest difference.
The most fun I had at ABAA was whenever I was on stage with all of my best friends. There's no feeling like it, seeing your “family” doing what they love most and watching all your hard work pay off around you.
My fondest memory from my years at ABAA were the show circles before any given performance. Before every show, we circled up and went through our “pre show rituals” which always gave me that extra boost of confidence I needed before going on stage. There’s just something about being surrounded by all your best friends and your support system that makes that moment so special.
Upon graduation, I am currently planning on going into graduate school for Student Affairs. I do, however, also hope to return to dancing on a recreational level at some point.
Something that Miss Ashley always said that has stuck with me is “go somewhere to get somewhere.” Although this was typically in reference to our port de bras or traveling across the stage, I also found this applicable in every day life. In order to get somewhere, or to reach a goal, you sometimes have to take the long way and put in the work to get to your final destination or reach your goal.