Ballet school helps students move with grace, confidence

Nancy McCloud, manager of the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy at the Towne Center.

Nancy McCloud, manager of the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy at the Towne Center.

March 5, 2014

Ballet creates the foundation for all disciplines of dance and is the most difficult and rewarding to master, according to the branch manager of the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy at Towne Centre in Brookfield.

"Turning out one's legs and feet is not easy, but when a student learns to line the body's hands and feet for ballet movements, he or she can confidently move on to any other form of dance," Nancy McCloud said. "Achieving proper ballet step technique is beautiful and self-gratifying."

A satellite extension of the Milwaukee headquarters, the Towne Centre location has been teaching students of all levels from ages 3 to adult since relocating from Pewaukee in 2008.

The school offers year-round instruction in Italian, French and Russian ballet styles, as well as an intensive summer program that draws international attendees, she said.

"As the only school in the Midwest to be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, we have an outstanding reputation and track record of expertly and safely instructing clients," McCloud said. "Our faculty not only has the expertise to teach classical ballet, but modern dance and jazz. And they strive to communicate the correct technique that protects joints, strengthens muscles and reduces the risk of injury."

Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy holds a number of yearly events, including a spring showcase. Students also receive free tickets to attend a professional performance as part of their educational curriculum.

McCloud estimates the school has produced at least a dozen professional dancers since it was established in 1975. Alumni success, though, she added, is not the true measure of the institution.

"So many former students have told me that we also helped instill in them a love for the theater and music," said McCloud, who has been with the organization as an administrator, instructor and repetiteur — staging other teachers' choreography — since the early 1980s. "Kids who've studied ballet develop a deep appreciation for the arts."

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BUSINESS: Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy at Towne Centre

ADDRESS: 3815 N. Brookfield Road, Suite 201, Brookfield

PHONE: (262) 790-1380




TYPE OF BUSINESS: ballet school

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