About Elise Flagg Academy of Dance
Elegance, precision and energy in movement amazed me as I watched the New York City Ballet perform in Washington, D.C. Thus began my determination to dance with the company under the direction of George Balanchine. Flash forward to a year later, and I am now 12 years old, studying at the School of American Ballet on full scholarship. This began my four years of study, which opened my eyes to a new style of classical ballet. At the end of those four years, I became a full-time member of the New York City Ballet. I performed with the company for ten years and rose through the ranks to become a soloist within the company. I went on to perform principal roles both there and with the Zürich Ballet in Europe.
My years as a professional dancer taught me how to take care of my body yet still push it to continuously grow, both technically and as an artist. I firmly believe the only way to attain one’s goals as an artist is through proper study of that technique with a pure heart and a strong focus. The goal for my students is to learn, even without the perfect body, to dance in a Balanchine manner. This will enable them to perform in other techniques and styles of ballet and contemporary dance with greater ease. I have taken all of these lessons and developed a curriculum designed to push a student’s body to greater limits but in a way that prevents injury and maintains the health of the dancer.
My mission and goal for the Elise Flagg Academy of Dance is to teach the students the same elegance, appreciation of music and movement, precision and energy that George Balanchine taught me. I want to enable them to go on to a professional career, if that is what they desire. Even if this is not their desire, I strive to equip them with the work ethic and focus they will need in any career they may choose. I sincerely believe that a dancer must find their center and alignment in order to be precise, fast and slow, and injury-free.
This brings me to my belief that Pilates is essential for a dancer. I was trained in Pilates, and it helped me stay injury-free throughout my career. I underwent a very-rigorous year-and-a-half-long certification program in Romana’s Pilates. I require Pilates mat classes as part of my curriculum and private training (if necessary) so that my students understand proper alignment, and also to prevent potential injuries. At the Elise Flagg Academy of Dance I want a healthy, cheerful and serious atmosphere dedicated to the principles that I learned from the greatest director and most prolific choreographer of all time, George Balanchine. Read Elise's Story.
What parents and students are saying…
“I am so grateful to have had Elise as a teacher. She has such a wonderful, positive spirit that makes her a joy to work with. The way she teaches gave me a clean foundation for ballet technique and good core strength. She also takes an excellent approach to the mental side of ballet. I credit working with her to be one of the main reasons that I have been able to have a professional career in ballet!”-
The combination of Pilates and Ballet privates with Elise has had a powerful effect on my technique. Elise helped me work towards a strong ballet technique that helped me throughout my ballet training. I would not be the same dancer I amtoday without her, and am grateful for her ballet instruction!
Read Leah's credentials here…
"I feel our training is not only about technique but is how to artistically live, breathe, and think the art of dance. We are taught so well! Not only dance but life lessons! For example, when someone volunteers to go first for a variation they are taught bravery. Taking corrections and applying them the second we receive them makes us eager to learn! On most occasions when I'm upset, sad, or happy I don't cry, I dance and let all my emotions out. Our technique teaches us how to properly dance and then we are able to add our emotions and dance our hearts out!"
"Our training really enables us to be able to do anything whether we do older classical variations, Balanchine variations, or contemporary. Elise teaches us to be prepared for anything. We also receive a lot of individual corrections, everyone is treated with respect and we are given the ability to pursue opportunities. Our training prepares us for a future career in dance and gives us the insights and skills we need to be prepared for our dance career. Elise teaches us to take risks through big movements, really going for it which brings us out of our comfort zones. Elise teaches us not to be a "safe" reserved dancer but to really express ourselves and try!"
"Elise Flagg provides expertise technique training and a safe place to grow and develop as an artist. It's a privilege and honor to work with someone of her caliber."