My experiences at Midwest Regional Ballet definitely laid the foundation for who I am today as both a dancer and a human. The training and the friendships I developed underthe direction of Kaye Lewis fostered my deep love for dance, allowed me to find my choreographic voice, and prepared me for a professional dance career. When I am taking class in NYC or presenting my work at venues in the area, I am constantly grateful for my time at MRB.
Kaye was my first dance teacher, and from her I learned not only the basics of dance, but more importantly, the passion for it. I quit ballet more than once because it was hard and I was so far behind the other kids. (I didn't start dancing until I was about 10). I came home crying because I couldn't do a double pirouette. Kaye told me to do a triple then, so I tried, and did it! I was totally hooked after that and have taken that lesson to not be defeated by seemingly difficult steps with me through my 20 year professional ballet career. Kaye taught me to persevere and work for it, and that drive gave me the passion and love to be a successful ballet dancer who is up for the challenge.
Midwest Regional Ballet has been a cornerstone in my life. I came to MRB from a studio I had attended since the age of two and after seeing MRB’s productions of “The Wizard of Oz” and “Cats”, I knew even before my first class that I had a lot to learn. Regardless of my former studio affiliation and my lack of accurate dance knowledge, Mrs. Kaye, and every one of her students welcomed me with open and patient arms. Under the right training, my ability grew immensely. MRB gave me a strong technical understanding of dance that I have been able to capitalize on through my collegiate years. I now get to share the art of dance with my own young students. However, MRB gave me so much more than just technique. The friends I gained in my early teens have since become life-long family members. From Florida to Chicago and New York to California I have deep connections with the outstanding individuals I had the privilege of sharing a stage with. Having adopted Mrs. Kaye as a sort of second mother, there has never been any question about what “coming home” means to me. I am so incredibly thankful to be welcomed into the studio today, four years past my time, as though I never left. There is no combination of words I could string together that would accurately represent that beautiful phase of my life. All I can say is I am so thankful it happened.
Midwest Regional Ballet and the dancers that train rigorously under Kaye Lewis learn not only the fundamentals and etiquette of ballet and dance, but learn to be well rounded and empathetic individuals. In my nine years of acting I have never found a better tool than using movement to provoke emotion. That tool started to be formed at Midwest Regional Ballet and Company.
I've danced with Kaye from childhood into my adult years. I remember dancing with Kaye as a 6-year-old at her studio in Miami, OK. The studio was putting up a production of 'Snow White,' and I had just seen a production with the most beautiful bluebird costume on a little girl. Naturally, I thought that should be my costume in our production! I presented the idea to Kaye, who regretfully told me she didn't have a bluebird costume, but then she gave me a gorgeous bumblebee costume and made me feel like the prettiest and most special bumblebee there ever was! Going into my, now almost decade-long career, that is how I remember training with Kaye was-I was disciplined, I didn't always get what I wanted, but I always got more than I believed I needed! I worked hard, and she always pushed me beyond what I thought I could do. She always saw that potential in me. I'm now a professional musical theatre performer, and I largely credit Kaye with not only teaching me how to dance, but also how to act on stage and with that comes musicality and learning to emote and deliver a song. I am so grateful for my training with Kaye and Midwest Regional Ballet!
I have such special memories from my time at MRB. I walked away with a lifelong best friend, a serious work ethic, and a ton of laugh lines from all the fun I had performing on stage and in class with the best group of fellow artists. Kaye was like a second mother to all of us and created a special space to grow, learn, and embrace our uniqueness. Thank you, MRB for everything!
I am currently enrolled in American Music and Dramatic Arts in New York City. I can’t thank Ms. Kaye and everyone at MRB for noticing me. MRB is one of the most important stepping stones of my life and I will always be able to go back and feel at home.
I would probably have to say,..that throughout my career as a singer and performer,..that my dance background help me in ways that I couldn't imagine at the time. I know that I got jobs as a singer,..because of my ability to dance and move onstage. Having those skills set me apart,..and elevated my performances.