Dancers to brighten downtown at new performing arts studio

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2005

In about four months, the former post office building at 100 Bank Street will be recarpeted, repainted, refinished, almost completely remade. The tables, boxes and computers that clutter among the floor will be gone. On June 19, the area will be taken over by the School of Suffolk Ballet, with Karen Watkins-Westebbe at the helm.

The current owner of Bright Lights Performing Arts Studio in Chesapeake and dance professor at Regent University, Watkins-Westebbe will be moving over 150 students from Chesapeake to Suffolk. The studio will hold a special concert at Nansemond River High on June 18, with an Open House scheduled for the next day. The two-studio school will officially open on July 1. It will be a training academy for Suffolk Ballet, a professional dance company.

The center will offer nutrition courses for students to learn about a dancer’s proper diet. French lessons will be taught, as nearly all dance commands in ballet are spoken in this language.

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Television units will be set up for dancers to be able to watch and critique their own performances.

&uot;This was perfect!&uot; Watkins-Westebbe said of the new location. &uot;We want to do more developmental programs.

&uot;This is a nice way to see that being a dancer doesn’t stop at age 18 – it can continue. It’s our dream to continue developmental training.&uot;

For more information, contact Watkins-Westebbe at 483-9629.