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ART BEAT: Gwinnett student performers prepare to go back to school

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Gwinnett's many young actors and dancers have enjoyed a summer filled with intense study in their chosen art forms. Now it is time to focus on the season before them, filled with performances and concentration on becoming better at their crafts.

Two of Gwinnett's nonprofit arts organizations are gearing up Saturday for the year ahead. Gwinnett Ballet Theatre invites anyone interested in dance to its annual open house. Located at 2204 Fountain Square in Snellville, GBT will open its doors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., welcoming back students and parents and encouraging new students to come meet the faculty and tour the studios.

GBT's company dancers will perform and there will be other demonstrations. There will be refreshments, too. For more information, call the GBT studios at 770-978-0188.

The Actor's Edge is starting classes on Saturday at locations in both Duluth and Suwanee. Classes include Star Potential for ages 4 to 6, the Actor's Edge Junior for ages 7 to 10, Introduction to Acting for ages 8 to 12, The Actor's Edge Youth for ages 10 to 17 and other classes with such titles as On Camera, Vocal Ensemble and Musical Theatre Dance. There are classes for adults as well, with an Adult Workshop and an Adult Improv class available. To register, or for more information, visit www.theactorsedge.com or call 770-846-6721.

The Actor's Conservatory of the Red Phoenix Theatre has classes beginning Sept. 13. Director Jeffrey Scott Bailey requires that students and a parent meet with him for class placement by Aug. 21. Interested parties need to call 678-532-0473 to schedule an appointment on Aug. 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20. Visit www.redphoenix.org for more information.

A big salute needs to go out to all the area dance students who spent much of their summer studying at prestigious summer intensives around the country. Gwinnett Ballet Theatre sent Abigrace DiPrima, 14, to Chatauqua Institution's School of Dance summer program. Maggie Ellington, 16, attended the Virginia School of the Arts in Richmond, Va.

Chanelle Pennington-Hill, 14, attended the Orlando Ballet Summer Intensive. Jessica Kaczor, 17, attended the Regional Dance America's Choreographic Intensive in North Carolina. Tori Thompson, 17, attended the Glenda Brown Choreography Project.

From Susan Chambers Dance Company we salute Kelsey Wildman, 17, who was at Joffrey Ballet and the Rockettes in NYC on scholarship, as well as Julliard, Broadway Dance Center and Steps NYC. Ashley Pettit, 15, and Rebekka Dizdar, 13, attended Joffrey. Emma Grace Cline, 13, was at Alvin Ailey. Kaila Fields, 16, attended BDC and Steps in NYC. Sara Snow, 16, attended Brockus Conservatory Summer Musical Theatre in LA as well as Broadway Artists Alliance in NYC. Alexis McPhail, 15, attended the Rockettes on Scholarship. Avery Elliot, 15, attended BDC and Steps in NYC. Ashley Supper, 12, enjoyed a history tour of the Paris Opera House!

From Southern Ballet Theatre, Carly Wood, 16, attended Alabama Ballet Theatre. Haley Terrell, 16, was a dance major at the Georgia Governor's Honors Program. Mara Weissinger, 14, Caroline Deedy, 13, and Brooke Bennett, 14, all studied at the Brigham Young University Dance Intensive. Dana Egan, 16, attended Atlanta Ballet's Summer Intensive and Regional Dance America's Choreographic Intensive in North Carolina, as did Bethany Smith, age 17.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.