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Davis Journal

Discover the joy of ballet at Turning Pointe in Centerville

Oct 06, 2023 11:59AM ● By Kerry Angelbuer
Sarah Eccles Taylor is opening the Turning Pointe ballet studio in Centerville for dancers from age two to adults. Courtesy photo

Sarah Eccles Taylor is opening the Turning Pointe ballet studio in Centerville for dancers from age two to adults. Courtesy photo

Turning Pointe a new dance studio opening in Centerville will offer state-of-the-art classrooms for dancers young and not-so-young. “Ballet is the basis of pretty much all dance in some form or another,” Sarah Eccles Taylor, teacher and business partner at the new studio said. 

Ballet training can teach you the language and moves that can lead to a ballet career or just make you more likely to be able to try out successfully for the community theater or a school play. Classes for children of all skill levels and ages are offered from a parent and tot class called tiny tutus to more advanced training for high school students. One niche Taylor hopes to fill is the adolescent dancer who needs beginning classes, but would much rather take them with others of her own age. Taylor would love to see more boys in her classes, strongly believing that the self-discipline and grace learned could be helpful in other areas of life. Boys don’t need to wear tights, and are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing for classes. Many of her students are talented, but the philosophy is to include all who want to learn. Having autism, a vision impairment, or other difficulty may not exclude someone from benefitting from ballet training at the studio. 

Turning Pointe also offers adult classes for both men and women. “A woman in one of my classes last week noted that though her body couldn’t do everything it could as a child, the joy she once felt dancing was still there,” Taylor said.

Classes for adult women are offered four times a week. A ballet barre exercise class along with beginning and intermediate ballet classes. Classes for adult men are also taught by James Bartholomew who was trained by Ballet West. All adult classes are punch pass so that you can drop in when you can make it, taking into account busy schedules. The women’s classes are $5 a class.

Turning Pointe is filling a need in the community since the ballet classes were dropped at CenterPoint Academy in favor of more specific theater training. The studio was still be able to use the stage at the theater for years to come. Taylor and her business partner Joan Bowles were former ballet instructors at CenterPoint. Although the studio is new, the combined teaching experience of the instructors measures in decades. 

Taylor first started dancing at age 5 and loved it immediately, which was fortunate since it was prescribed by her doctor to rehabilitate a hip that was congenitally not fully formed. Her older, male instructor Walter Stoker was excellent and by the time she was a teenager, she was dancing five to six days a week. Eventually, she became part of the Ballet West academy where she participated in the Nutcracker. Currently, Taylor is the Vice Chair of the Governing Board of Directors of Ballet West. Taylor is passionate about the benefits of ballet training. “I think movement is essential for good brain development, and ballet offers a way to teach self-discipline and hard work.” Past generations had chores on a farm to teach these skills, but ballet, with its self-control and structure, can also be useful teaching this essential mind set. “Our mission,” said Taylor, “is to provide an environment which teaches proper technique while also nurturing self expression.”