By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Giving the gift of ballet
Placeholder Image

Sarah Lanners, junior at Newton High School, has twirled in ballet slippers for 13 years.

Now as a member of the senior company of the Covington Regional Ballet, she wants to share her passion with others.

Last year when her older brother began applying to colleges and reviewing his past community service, he told her he wished he had taught tennis - his passion - to children who couldn't afford lessons.

Lanners had previously performed with her ballet company at the Washington Street Community Center and decided she wanted to offer free ballet classes there.

"But last year my classes were a lot harder than this year," Lanners said, "but this year I really wanted to do it because ballet is so important to me."

Lanners mother set up a meeting with Bea Jackson, director of WSCC.

"We talked and she jumped all over the idea," Lanners said.

Jackson and Lanners decided to offer free ballet classes to girls ages 5 to 10 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. every other Friday while school was in session.

Class sizes range each session from five girls to 20. Lanners usually has help from two assistant instructors to ensure every student learns the basic positions and combinations correctly.

After class on Dec. 14 the girls will give a short performance for their parents to display their hard work.

Lanners' students also will receive complimentary tickets from the Arts Association in Newton County to CRB's presentation of "The Nutcracker," showing at 3 p.m. today at Newton High School, in which Lanners plays the Arabian Princess and other smaller roles.

In Lanners eyes, the classes offer more than physical exercise and a place to go after school.

"Ballet teaches grace and discipline that helps throughout life in any discipline," Lanners said.

She added that all the ballerinas she knows are "good kids" as well as perfectionists who constantly try to better themselves - herself included, of course.

Because she enjoys working with the young dancers so much, Lanners said she plans to continue offering the classes next semester and next school year.

"As long as I'm still in high school, I will be doing this," Lanners said, "and I hope that other members of the Covington Regional Ballet really step up and continue when I go to college."