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Nevada Ballet Theatre summer classes offer something for everyone

It’s a new class that will have you lithe and limber in no time, barre none.

The Nevada Ballet Theatre offers a number of summer classes for everyone from novice to intermediate levels. One of them is Barre Only, which, as its name implies, uses exercises at the barre — the horizontal pole that lines a ballet studio — as the only equipment.

All ages and experience levels are welcome .

“I try to keep the combinations pretty basic,” said Sarah Fuhrman, instructor and NBT company dancer. “You’ll get a good workout.”

The first class on June 14 saw 10 attendees. This day, June 21, there were five. As students arrived, they dropped their bags and stepped up to the barre to stretch.

John Crutchman has his own dance company, West Coast Dance Explosion, and was taking the class to stay in shape. He has had a 40-year career in dance, beginning when he was 8.

“You’ve got to keep going as long as you can,” he said of the reason he wanted to take the class.

Alan Sherfield, with the same company, said he was there for fun. He’s been a dancer for 35 years and had taken Barre Only the week before.

“She’s great as far as taking it easy on us ‘old’ people,” he joked of Fuhrman.

The class began with an explanation of the sequence of movements, done to an eight-count. The movements were basic to any ballet class —- the plie, rond de jambe and arabesque.

As she explained the sequence, Fuhrman demonstrated. A couple of students moved their limbs unconsciously in abbreviated gestures along with her, setting the sequence in their minds.

A saucy jazz piano piece came on the sound system, and everyone got to work. Students kept a respectful distance from each other, intent on their own workout.

In time, the jazzy tune gave way to a more mellow song, slowing the pace and forcing the students to hold the next sequence of movements longer. A collective sigh was let out when the music stopped.

At the end of each song, the students automatically began their own movements —- pulling a foot back to the spine or lifting a foot to the barre and leaning into it. One took toe-touching to a new level —- pressing his forehead into his kneecaps.

By the end of the class, outer garments had been shed and perspiration trickled down everyone’s back.

The one-hour class runs from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 16 at the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre, 1651 Inner Circle Drive. It’s for those 15 or older .

No registration is necessary. Cost is $16 per class, or save with a punch card of 10 classes for $120.

Anna Lantz, academy principal, said NBT’s summer classes offer “something for everybody … even those with very, very limited ballet history.”

Other classes are Absolute Beginner, a ballet class for adults, and Intermediate/Advanced Adult Ballet classes. They also are drop-in style, with no registration necessary.

For children, the new Story Ballet is a program that includes ballet movement but also music exploration while learning about famous ballets such as “Swan Lake.”

Summer classes end Aug. 19. For a full class listing, visit nevadaballet.org .

Contact Summerlin and Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 387-2949.

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