25 years and 2 generations later, over 75,000 local ballet students, ages 6 to 18 with at least 1 year of ballet training, perform side-by-side with Moscow Ballet pros. In Dallas, the “Dance with Us” cast will perform their roles in the Great Russian Nutcracker on Saturday, November 18, 3:00 pm matinee and 7:00 pm; and Sunday, November 19, 1:00 pm matinee at SMU McFarlin Memorial Auditorium, this holiday season.
“It was such an amazing opportunity for our young dancers to grow and see how a professional company works...the costumes were breathtaking, says Julia Zhmutski of Moscow Ballet Host Dance Studio Julia’s Dance Academy in Oklahoma City. The ballet students, who study at ballet schools in the area, auditioned for Moscow Ballet Audition Director Romana Dumanska in the fall and rehearsed their roles at the Moscow Ballet Host Dance Studios London School of Dance and Toby's School of Dance. The children’s roles are as Party Children, Small Mice, Snowflakes, Snow Sprites, Snow Maidens, and Act II’s Variations of the world’s five great heritages. The experience of auditioning for a professional, rehearsing with the company, being fitted in Moscow Ballet costumes, and performing for a live audience of a thousand or more is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these children! See the Dance with Us student dancers perform in the Great Russian Nutcracker:www.nutcracker.com/yourcity .
London School of Dance and Toby’s School of Dance are the Host Dance Studios and students from 24 local dance schools have participated in past performances.
Toby McPheeters has been honored to be the Dallas Coordinator of the children in Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, along with Gwen Owens, owner of London School of Dance in Garland TX, for over 20 years! Along with these dedicated and awe-inspiring teachers: her daughter, Laura Glenn, Sally Andriot, and Gina Baker, Toby hopes to continue working with the amazing Moscow Ballet for many more years.
At Toby's School of Dance participation in ballet as a student is an exciting artistic experience. Toby’s philosophy is that the result of proper ballet training is a beautiful, strong, and healthy body, which includes the development of good posture, grace, and poise. The self-discipline learned in ballet class helps a child to succeed in all undertakings. A qualified and well-trained faculty and individual attention to each student’s technical or physical problems assure young students the maximum opportunity for progress. The studio works form the concept that ballet is the background and basis for all dance and should be studied first or along with other forms of dance.
Toby, owner and director of Toby's School of Dance for the last 54 years, gave ownership of the studio to Sally and Don Andriot in 2016. They retained the studio name as a tribute to the legacy of Toby’s contribution to the Arts. Toby studied dance from dance luminaries including Edna McRae, Fronie Asher, Robert Bell, Nathalie Krassovska, Arthur Mitchell, Marjorie Tallchief, Victor Moreno, Randelyn Kaye, Buster Cooper, Nancy Cross, Fernando Schaffenberg and Buster Cooper. A founding board member of the Dallas Dance Council for 20 years, Toby served as Vice-President and Treasurer. In November of 2007 Toby was awarded the Mary Bywaters “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Council. She was also Vice-President of Philanthropy, and on the Board of the Richardson Council of the Arts. For many years Toby’s Dance Company participated in the Southwest Regional Association’s Ballet Festivals all over the state of Texas.
London School of Dance was established in 1966 by Director and Founder Gwen Owens and continue the tradition of excellence with 2nd generation Co-Director Misty Owens and her New York City dance expertise. With 48 years of experience the studio is proud of the outstanding Professional Faculty and is dedicated to bringing the finest dance training for children in the area. The studio is non-competitive and the young students thrive in progressive, creative classes designed to offer children through teens an opportunity to study dance to its fullest.The annual spring performances are renowned in the region for their child-appropriate music choices, costumes and themes which ensures parent satisfaction.