For most of her life, Dr. Carla Walter studied classical ballet. She holds a doctorate in dance history and theory from the University of California, Riverside.
Her career took her to many places around the world, where she not only danced, but also taught. She also had her own successful ballet company.
His love for ballet is part of what led Walter to open Dance in the Spirit LLC here in Milledgeville.
“Dancing is a spiritual practice and it seemed like a great way to position the business,” Walter said.
Several classical ballet classes are available at Dance in the Spirit, ranging from beginner to advanced for those passionate about this art form, for preteen to adult dancers.
As Walter explained, the praise dance used at Dance in the Spirit is based on a classical ballet foundation, so the dancers have a strong awareness of choreography. These classical ballet and praise dance lessons also form the basis of all performances offered by Dance in the Spirit. These performances are small and, at least for the moment, organized in private places.
Performance opportunities are offered to dancers of a particular level and commitment with the company.
“The goal is to expose the dancers to an encouraging audience and allow the audience to form a closer connection with the dancers,” she said.
Starting in May, the company will offer Alzheimer’s ballet classes for seniors and dance therapy for grief and recovery.
Dance in the Spirit’s spring hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, the company is also open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Hours vary depending on the course.
Some other special events organized by Dance in the Spirit include crash courses and masterclasses for dancers.
“We base the process of learning and progressing in dance on internal rather than external goals so that dancers are motivated by a supportive, non-competitive technique to help them develop both skill and initiative while helping them channel their ambitions,” she said.
Dr. Walter explained that ideally, dancers should enroll in two or three classes each week and commit to attending each week. These classes are usually small, with less than 10 dancers per class.
Classes are also reasonably affordable and those who sign up now will receive 20% off their first class. Discounts for students and for families with more than one child enrolled are also available.
Walter said she enjoys teaching, as well as creating choreography and seeing dancers flourish.
“I believe classical ballet and worship dance should be accessible and beautiful,” Walter said. “I also enjoy putting on performances that are beautiful and done with the intent created by Dance in the Spirit.”