Standing in a ballet class as a child, dressed in pint-sized pink slippers, Rebekah Blythe had a plane stretching out before her, defined like the lines of a dancer’s body.
Before starting kindergarten, Blythe developed a vision for her life that has never wavered since.
“I knew when I was 4 that I wanted to be a professional dancer and open my own studio,” she said.
She didn’t expect this to happen at age 25, but Blythe’s hopes are quickly coming true just as she planned.
After graduating from high school early to pursue her artistic career, dancing at Busch Gardens and performing in several ballets, the Lafayette High School graduate is preparing to open the curtain on her En Pointe Dance Academy.
Registration is currently open online, with a first day of classes scheduled for January 5.
Growing up in Norge, Blythe knew she wanted to bring ballet to this region.
“We never had anything there,” she said, adding that the studio draws students from New Kent and West Point in addition to the Williamsburg area, and at 7521 Richmond Road, a few blocks away. steps from Interstate 64.
With four additional instructors, En Pointe Dance Academy will offer classes in a variety of styles, starting with children as young as 18 months old. Blythe also wants to give older audiences the chance to do some plies and pirouettes – the studio will be offering classes for adults and seniors.
“I wanted it to be a release for them that made them feel comfortable in the classroom,” Blythe said of the senior classes, which she says fills a void locally.
Blythe believes her teaching style will set her school apart from other schools in the area. She is on a mission to make dance a joy for the littlest students, making everyone feel special.
“Little children come in and they have dreams. And I was this 4-year-old boy who had a dream. … This is where you have to catch their dream and turn it into reality,” Blythe said.
With 20 years of performance experience, classically trained at the now closed Chamber Ballet, Blythe began teaching at the RF Wilkinson Family YMCA.
She walked over to reception and suggested a program for the children to learn how to perform. Blythe started the Y Performing Arts Academy from scratch, but quickly outgrew the space and was ready to go out on her own.
Some of her students are following her in this new endeavor and have already expressed their enthusiasm for the studio.
“I get really excited when my students are excited,” Blythe said. “That’s why I teach.”
As a non-competitive dance school, En Pointe Dance Academy will not travel to compete but will hold two recitals each year to include each class.
It will also host dance-themed birthday parties – either the Princess Ballet, where revelers are encouraged to wear their finest royal attire, or dancing, more suited to an older ensemble with hip-hop – which will include private dance lessons with an instructor.
Blythe said coordinating the many aspects of building the new studio, the construction of which is handled by both her husband and father, has been a challenge, but she is grateful to see the project come to fruition.
For more information or to register for classes, visit the En Pointe Dance Academy website.