Fort Wayne Ballet Spotlight – Meet David!
Sep16

Fort Wayne Ballet Spotlight – Meet David!

Since July, we have been profiling various dancers with Fort Wayne Ballet. In this week’s spotlight, we meet the husband of dancer Alexis Ingram, who we profiled a few weeks ago. David Ingram is a professional dancer with Fort Wayne Ballet and currently serves as Artistic Associate and Men’s Program Coordinator. Living Fort Wayne contacted David recently to get a feel for what moves him. Selected responses are below. How long have you lived in Fort Wayne, and where are you from originally? I am originally from Kingsport, Tennessee and have lived in Fort Wayne for the past three years. Can you tell us how you became involved with Fort Wayne Ballet? I have been a fan and student of [Fort Wayne Ballet Executive/Artistic Director] Karen Gibbons-Brown’s artistic leadership for quite some time. What is the most challenging aspect of performing ballet professionally? Representing the current framework of our present status as a community, culture, and our habitual ways of seeing and representing that ethically and carefully. What are some other things you are doing with your life outside of ballet? Currently, I am enrolled at Hollins University/the Forsythe Company (Frankfurt, Germany) working on my [Master of Fine Arts] in composition. When not working on my MFA, I am very busy chasing around Pethula and Clementine, my two girls. What are some of your hopes for the future? I hope that one day dancing will not be viewed as an alien or imperialistic art form. I find it [to be] a way of communication and hope others can feel comfortable enough to dance themselves without the fear of judgement. What artistic performance have you been the most proud of in your career as a dancer?  I have had many recently – I am very proud of the artists I train and their accomplishments. What is one humorous or light-hearted anecdote about your time as a dancer? I do not have one specific thing, but I would ask that anyone who reads this would come and tell me not to use water anymore. Next week – David Ingram and others At the Edge We will catch up with David, along with a few other interesting people with Fort Wayne Ballet, next week in our final part of this series, which will focus on the organization’s preparation and inspiration for the At the Edge fall performance. David is choreographing a contemporary piece for the performance, so be sure to check back next week for his thoughts on what he wants to communicate to the audience through dance. For more information about Fort Wayne Ballet and the At the Edge fall performances on September 26...

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Fort Wayne Ballet Spotlight – Meet HannahLeah!
Sep08

Fort Wayne Ballet Spotlight – Meet HannahLeah!

As we get closer to this month’s At the Edge performances, we spotlight another fantastic Fort Wayne Ballet dancer. HannahLeah Oeding is a company dancer and teacher at the Ballet. As a dancer, she rehearses and performs in all of the Ballet’s in-season productions and participates in various outreach programs in the Fort Wayne area. As a teacher, she teaches young students at the downtown studios and the satellite programs at both the Jorgensen YMCA and Parkview YMCA. HannahLeah is in her fourth season with the company. Living Fort Wayne caught up with HannahLeah to get a feel for what moves her. Selected responses are below. Can you tell us how you became involved with ballet?I started taking classes when I was very young, and fell completely in love with ballet after seeing The Nutcracker when I was five. When I was eleven, my mom decided it was time for me to start taking classes at a professional school whose main focus was ballet. I took classes at Inland Pacific Ballet and performed with the company on many occasions until I graduated high school. What is the most challenging aspect of performing ballet professionally?One of the most challenging parts of being a professional ballet dancer is maintaining and improving a high level of technique. Everyone has their own body’s strengths  and weaknesses. Once you are a professional, it becomes the dancer’s responsibility to take care of applying corrections and to seek out new information. The level of physicality that is required to dance a full evening of ballet is so high; if you aren’t improving, you are losing your edge. But even more importantly, dancers have to learn how to keep a positive mindset. We are so emotionally attached to what we do. Most of us fell in love with movement and the way it makes us feel at a young age, and that stays with us forever. However, at the end of a long rehearsal week or when casting gets posted and you don’t get what you want or expect, you have to learn to shut that out and just keep that young girl or boy who was spellbound by the magic in the forefront of your mind. We are all so blessed to be able to do what we  love everyday, and to share that joy with our audience. What artistic performance have you been the most proud of in your career as a dancer?Probably the opportunity to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. For me, it was such a personal achievement. I had grown up dancing the ballet every year and looked up to the plums...

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Fort Wayne Ballet Spotlight – Meet Alexis!
Aug18

Fort Wayne Ballet Spotlight – Meet Alexis!

Today on our Fort Wayne Ballet spotlight we meet Alexis Ingram. She holds two roles as both Principal of the Auer Academy of Fort Wayne Ballet and Director of the Youth Company, the Ballet’s youngest performing level. Living Fort Wayne contacted Ingram recently to get a feel for what moves her. How would you describe these two roles you hold with the Fort Wayne Ballet?  As principal, I oversee the daily functions of the Academy classes, coordinate the Fort Wayne Ballet curriculum with our faculty and maintain an open dialogue with students and parents. As Youth Company director, I choreograph three new ballets each season for our “Family Series” and re-stage excerpts of classical ballets on our Youth Company dancers who are between the ages of 9 and 15. How long have you lived in Fort Wayne, and where are you from originally?  I am originally from Miami, Florida. After attending high school at New World School of the Arts, a public magnet school in Miami, I went to Butler University where I met my husband David Ingram. We moved to Fort Wayne three years ago after David retired from dancing at North Carolina Dance Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina. What are some other things you are doing with your life outside of ballet?  David and I have two young daughters: Clementine (two years) and Pethula (eight months). So outside of ballet, we are knee-deep in diapers! What are some of your hopes for the future?  I hope my students continue to love dance. I hope their love of dance encourages other people to dance. What artistic performance have you been the most proud of in your career as a dancer?  I am amazed every day by the performances given by the young dancers that I teach. Their commitment to developing artistry and their passion for dance and performing is astounding. Watching these children dance inspires me everyday. What do you like best about Fort Wayne and the arts community in the area?  This Miami girl is officially in love with the Midwest! I love the size of the city,  I love how genuine people are, I love winter, and I love the way people in Fort Wayne embrace the arts and support so many facets of art and artistic development. For more information about Fort Wayne Ballet and the At the Edge fall performances on September 26 and 28, please visit the Fort Wayne Ballet’s website. Edited by Tim Zink Photo courtesy of Fort Wayne Ballet. Banner Photo by Rob...

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