S tepping into a pick leotard and tutu and slipping on those pick ballet pumps is the dream of many little girls. Learning ballet from a young age can offer children a range of benefits including strength, flexibility, confidence and coordination. With that in mind, we asked Donna Dempsey how her company started.
“I moved to Dubai and initially established The Dance Centre in 1996, and it later changed to Turning Pointe in 2007,” she explains. “I felt Turning Pointe was a better representation of the school as there are many studios spread across the UAE. It can also be a turning point in a child’s life when they start their ballet and dance training. Teaching ballet to children offers them the chance to develop their gross motor skills, as well as gain awareness of posture, coordination, musicality, fluidity of movement and confidence.”
Turning Pointe runs a variety of training classes for kids not solely focused on ballet including jazz, hip-hop, tap and cheerleading. The classes are held within a number of international schools and gyms across the UAE, so that kids can sign up for classes in their local area.
We asked Dempsey how young children can begin ballet lessons. “We welcome children from three years old right through to university age,” she says. “We offer students a range of classes from babies ballet through to advance (RAD) ballet, dance fusion, tap, modern, hip-hop, street jazz and cheerleading.
Students also work towards our annual shows which we hold in theatres. This year the students have worked extremely hard and enjoyed starring in The Wizard of Oz, which took place recently at Ductac.
We also put students forward for their Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) international examinations, too.”
Dempsey says she now has 12 full-time qualified teachers helping host the training sessions, the majority of whom have been with her dance school for several years.
Budding ballerinas, meanwhile, are being invited to join Turning Pointe this term and begin their own dancing journey.
Dempsey says children who are keen to learn ballet only need three main elements. She explains: “When kids begin dancing all they need to start with is imagination, energy and enthusiasm. We try to make each class fun while ensuring they learn the steps in a professional environment.”
Turning Pointe dance classes are held in various locations across the city.
For more information, visit www.turningpointe.ae.