In September, the Conyers School of Ballet will celebrating 30 years of opening up the world of dance to generations of children in Conyers.
Director Judy Mauran, a drama major who had been dancing since she was 4 years old, and her sister, who was a dancer with the Atlanta Ballet, started the school in 1980.
Three decades later, students still practice their forms in the in the airy second story studio space, which is filled with sunlight from ceiling-length windows.
Some students from the school have gone on to dance professionally, such as most recently alum Julia DeFoor with the Charleston Ballet, or become professionals in other areas of performance arts. Others have left with an appreciation of dance, and some have even come back to teach at the school.
"We consider ourselves to be a children’s ballet school for children to come and learn," said Mauran. "Hopefully they’ll leave us loving dance."
Learning ballet and dance also instills a discipline that can apply to many other parts of a child’s life.
"It takes a very special kind of discipline to create something as intransigent as dance," said Maruan. "This is true of most of the arts as well. Your body, your voice is your instrument. Once you’ve made it, once the dance is over, it’s gone forever.
"I think the arts in general feed all the other educational skills. The discipline it takes to create art is a discipline you can apply to any other part of life – job, education anything else. There’s just something about being able to work hard to achieve something that you can’t hold in your hands."
For those who might be interested in trying dance classes but are a little unsure, the school is now offering the first class for free, with reservations in advance. The school has classes in ballet, tap and jazz for all age ranges, "from 3 to 103," said Mauran
The school is located in Olde Town Conyers, at 931 Center Street. For more information, call (770) 483-5280 or go to http://conyersschoolofballet.net.