mugshot-nancy-smithNancy has studied extensively (including Joffery Ballet School and Ballet Repertory School) and has performed as a soloist with Ballet Repertory Company of New York, Shreveport Ballet, and San Antonio Ballet Company, later serving as Ballet Mistress for that company.

She has staged classical ballets for many organizations. Her students have been accepted into major ballet companies and have become teachers and choreographers. She has coached students for international ballet competition in Lausanne, Switzerland; Jackson, Mississippi; and Helsinki, Finland. Miss Nancy teaches Ballet V and Repertory.


Can you tell us a little bit about your personal history as a dancer and teacher?

I began ballet at age 12, studied in N.Y at Ballet Repertory and Joffrey School. I began teaching at the Vladimir Marek Ballet Academy in San Antonio and have continued at Performing Arts.

What kind of emotions do you feel/give out when you dance?

I feel great joy in the beauty of classical movement, and want to share that joy with audiences.

What or who inspires you in your teaching?

I worked 25 years with Vladimir Marek, a former principal dancer with the Czech National Ballet. During his performing career he was also ballet master to the Czech company. Work with him was like an advanced degree in how to teach.

What is a ballet mistress?

A ballet master or mistress is the one who teaches professional dancers in a ballet company, both in rehearsals and in the class that dancers take every day.

What advice would you give to an aspiring dancer who hasn’t had any serious dance.

That would depend upon the students age. If 12 or under, a ballet career is possible with good intensive training. For an older student, ballet is the basis for all types of dance, but career possibilities would lean in the direction of musicals or contemporary dance.

What are some things a person MUST do to be a successful dancer? Any MUST-NOTS?

A must for success in dance is mental discipline coupled with hard physical work under good instruction. A must-not is the attempting to skip over or through the basics of dance training, without good basics, their is no good dance.

Are there any misconception you’d like to set straight about dancers or performers in general?

People who have only seen student performances may not realize that dance is also a professional career, attainable after 7- 10 years of intensive training.

Describe the most creative project you have completed for ballet?

My favorite choreography is a Trio to Music of Erik Satie.