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RiverPointe host Thursday ‘lunch bunch’ ballet class

As they waited for the music to play, the students began taking their place at the barre.  

While situating their feet into first position, the dance instructor uttered encouraging words to the women and their warm-up routine followed. 

Unlike most dance classes that are filled with young want-to-be-performers, the Thursday noon class at RiverPointe Dance Academy is comprised of adults.

“We are doing like a lunch bunch class,” RiverPointe Dance Academy owner Bridgett Hunt said of the class, which is offered from noon to 1 p.m.

Hunt, who has owned RiverPointe for 10 years, said the adults who come in to take classes are there for variety of reasons.

“Some come for exercise, some come so they can relate to their children, who take dance, and others come just for fun,” she said.

Like a typical dance class, Hunt said, the adults are taught basic ballet moves in a non-intimidating environment.

“You can work at your own pace,” she said.

Serving as the instructor for the adult class is Anna Ellis, one of the teachers at Hunt’s studio.

Ellis said she grew up in Florida and has lived in California.

Most recently, she danced with Ballet Magnificat in Jackson.

She has also trained with the Ingredient Dance Company in Dallas, Texas the Filter Dance Conservatory in Champagne, Ill., and the Artesan Dance Company in Redding, Calif. 

When asked why she enjoyed teaching the adult ballet class, Ellis laughed and said, “They’re adults and they really understand me, and its fun to talk and hang out with them. And even though the classes are really simple, I get a workout while I’m teaching them,” she said.

Although she uses the same analogies and methods of teaching the adults as she uses with her younger students, Ellis admitted teaching adults is different than teaching children.

“They are nice and they pick up things faster. Especially the simple things,” she said.

Hunt, who is typically an instructor for dance classes at RiverPointe, said she liked Ellis teaching because it allowed her the opportunity to be part of the class.

Christi Lum, who is also a student in the class, said she has fun in the adult ballet class.

“Anna is a great teacher, and it helps me be able to relate to my kids,” she said.

Lum has three daughters who take dance at RiverPointe Academy.

“My 10-year-old was even critiquing me after my first class,” Lum said.

As far as attire for the ballet class, students are welcome to wear whatever they feel comfortable in, Hunt said.

“Most of the students just wear leggings and a tank top,” she said.

For those who might be interested in taking the adult ballet classes, Hunt said, there is no registration fee and students can pay either for a whole or half semester. Drop-ins are also welcome with no commitment, and the cost is $12 a class.

Hunt is also considering offering adult tap classes as well as an evening adult ballet class, she said.

For more information, visit riverpointedance.com.

As of now, it is yet to be determined if the adult ballet class will perform in the annual dance recital at the end of the year, Hunt said, but just in case, she has purchased tutus.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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