*photo property of Michael Cornell
This is my awesome ballet teacher, Michael Cornell… I know, right! You can just fffeeelllll the awesome-ness can’t you! I know you can. Go ahead, take a moment.
Michael, also know here in this blog Awesome Ballet Teacher, or ABT studied at the National Academy of Arts in Illinois, the Pennsylvania School of Ballet, and with some wickedly awesome master teachers, like Petrus Bosman (from Royal, yeah… that Royal) and Robert Dicello (from National Ballet of Canada). Michael danced with BalletMet of Columbus, Ohio. He has a background in both classical ballet and contemporary dance. He’s performed original works by David Parsons, James Kudelka, Liz Lerman, and Alonzo King. If you don’t know who these people are – smack yourself then indulge in some google-izing.
Nice CV but here is what it doesn’t tell you… Michael is an amazing ballet teacher. Rather than fall into that excuse ridden rut of traditional, old-school blah blah blah this is how ballet class has always been since the dawn of time and it’s kind of miserable so suck it up and just do it or get out, Michael employs a whole new perspective to ballet class – he makes it doable and fun. You don’t have to have any dance background whatsoever to take Michael’s classes and begin to learn ballet - not crummy barre-fusion ballet-inspired not-so-much-fun workout classes – but real classical ballet.
So why is my Awesome Ballet Teacher worthy of the title ABT? Because he is always patient, encouraging, thoughtful, and gets results by being thorough and caring. I started with one basic beginners class a week and was pretty sure that it wasn’t going to stick because let’s face it, my friends, I have a history of having to take a moment just to differentiate between my right and my left so let us just assume that my natural ability to do anything that can be labeled as dance to be limited at best. Six months later, I am in three to four classes a week including intermediate level. I’m not saying I’m great or anything but I can keep up, not feel lost, and come out of class having learned a thing or two and am always encouraged to return and learn more and that has everything to do with my teacher being awesome!
In class one night, Michael shared with us that he went to yoga class that day and the teacher told them to sort of do their own thing because it was their personal journey. He commented that ballet class is not our own thing but that we were kind of on his journey. There is great truth to that. And so I include him in my blog as I refer to him so often because my journey in ballet is basically to be led by this amazing ballet teacher. Without him, I remain only an observer of ballet; to participate in ballet, I need him. I can’t really emphasize enough how important he is and how grateful I am that he has the courage to take on the somewhat insane but noble task of trying to teach ballet to adults.
If you are ever in Los Angeles, I highly recommend a class or two and even if you are not as strategically located as I am ( ) might I suggest following him on Twitter and Facebook and checking out his site and his blog where he always offers great tips and thoughts and even has a page with ballet class music as a free download!
Find Michael Cornell here: