Classical ballet

Vero Classical Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty wakes up for just one night

For 10+ years, you could set your calendars with Vero Classical Ballet’s Nutcracker.

You know November is when the sugar plums, snowflakes and mice take the stage at the Performing Arts Center at Vero Beach High School.

When summer rolls around the Treasure Coast, however, these same dance students pull their tutus out of the closet for the school’s annual mid-year ballet.

On June 16 at 7 p.m., for a unique performance, a beautiful princess will awaken from a 100-year slumber to marry her prince in the spring 2018 event, “Sleeping Beauty”, with music by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. There will be a flurry of familiar fairy tale characters, including Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and maybe even an ogre.

In case you forgot the story: good fairies bring gifts of virtues to celebrate the birth of a princess, but what would a fairy tale be without a truly evil character? A death curse placed on the princess by the evil Carabosse cannot be completely reversed, but the powerful Lilac Fairy is able to turn death into a very long nap that will begin on Princess Aurora’s 16th birthday, when she will prick his finger on a spindle and the whole kingdom falls asleep until a handsome prince arrives on the scene a hundred years later. Phew. And a happy ending follows.

Nikki Bouldin in "Nutcracker."

Vero Classical Ballet has been around since 2005, when founders Barry and Amy Trammell began teaching aspiring dancers the basics of ballet, with an occasional side of Broadway-style jazz. Barry is the school’s jack-of-all-trades, teaching most classes and putting his power tools to work building sets and props. It becomes even more of a family affair when her mother comes to town and helps with some performances.

One of this summer’s dancers, Nikki Bouldin, graduated from Vero Beach High School. She is currently finishing her first year at the University of Miami and still takes the time to take her classes at Vero Classical Ballet. Bouldin said she likes the positive and supportive atmosphere at school.

“Barry and Amy encourage their students and they are inspiring role models,” she said. “The girls in the studio are welcoming and I felt like I was part of the group from the start.”

Alli Henry (center) dancing the "four swans" in "Swan Lake."

Alli Henry is also a graduate of Vero Beach High School and has been studying Vero Classical Ballet for two years. Henry agrees with Bouldin about the family atmosphere of the school where the training is intense but loving.

“Barry did an amazing job training us to be strong, technical dancers, and not dance like ‘robots’ as he would say,” Henry said. “He trains us to dance with grace, joy and fun.”

Tickets for ‘Sleeping Beauty’ are available online at Vero Classical Ballet’s summer/intensive camp for intermediate and advanced dancers ages 10 to adults begins July 9th. For more information, visit

Willi Miller writes about Indian River County. Contact her at [email protected]