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Why Ballet training helps children with school performance.

How acrobatic training helps all forms of dance

Warrenton Ballet Company
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Linda Voelpel is originally from the Saint Louis area, where she received her initial dance and acrobatic training, and began her teacher training at the Lucille Rapp Dance Studio while still in high school.  She has 38 years teaching experience in ballet, tap, acrobatics, jazz, and creative movement.  Ms. Voelpel has taught in Saint Louis, Missouri; Charleston, South Carolina; Fort Worth, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Falls Church, Virginia. 

Ms. Voelpel is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Texas Christian University, where she earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Science degrees.  When a foot injury ruled out fulltime dancing for an extended period, Ms. Voelpel used that time to pursue academic studies, broadening the base of her already-acquired physical and technical teaching skills.  Knowing a good teacher is more than simply an accomplished dancer, she devoted a great deal of her academic career to understanding the other requirements of teaching a physical activity; such as how to work with students of all ages from diverse physical and psychological backgrounds.  Ms. Voelpel’s outstanding academic work in communications (Summa Cum Laude with Departmental Honors, Senior Scholar in Communication Theory) allowed her to further refine and enhance her teaching skills, adding a new dimension to her ability to effectively reach every student with instruction tailored to meet each individual’s unique needs.

Ms. Voelpel danced with the Saint Louis Civic Ballet and was a soloist and rehearsal captain with the Charleston Dance Theatre (South Carolina).

She appeared on national television on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour as an acrobatic dance soloist, and performed on local television in Saint Louis and Charleston.  Ms. Voelpel appeared professionally throughout the Saint Louis area with the Kirkettes, a precision dance ensemble, and as an acrobatic dance soloist.  During her senior year, Ms. Voelpel was a member of the Texas Christian University Women’s Gymnastics Team. 

Since moving to Virginia, she has performed at Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo Park, Maryland; and in numerous ensemble and solo pieces for the Ballet Academy of Northern Virginia, including the Loudoun Ballet Company 1996 National Dance Week Choreography Competition.

During the summer of 2000, Ms. Voelpel returned to Saint Louis to perform in the Lucille Rapp Golden Anniversary Dance Recital.

After leaving the Saint Louis area, Ms. Voelpel lived in several cities across the country, always studying with leading teachers in each city, furthering her knowledge of the Russian technique and teaching method. While living in Oklahoma, Ms. Voelpel studied with world-renowned American Indian ballerinas Moscelyne Larkin and Yvonne Chouteau of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.  While in Tulsa, she also studied with Roman Jasinski, premier danseur, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

Other notable ballet teachers include Alexandra Danilova, Don Cantwell, Fernando Schaffenburg, Stanley Herbertt, and Finis Jhung.  Jazz teachers include Luigi, Gus Giordano, and Chet Walker.

Before coming to Warrenton, Ms. Voelpel spent five years teaching and studying under Madame Solange Binda-MacLean, director of the Ballet Academy of Northern Virginia.  Madame Binda-MacLean has generously shared her vast knowledge of ballet, teaching, choreography, and staging, adding immeasurably to Ms. Voelpel’s teaching and technical skills.

Ms. Voelpel believes dance teachers have a professional responsibility to take every opportunity to improve and update their teaching skills on a regular basis.

In June 2000, she attended the Ballet Intensive from Moscow, directed by Dmitri Roudnev, at Northern Illinois University.  The lecturer for the Teacher Seminar was Nina Kolisnikova, Boston Ballet School Mistress and former Instructor-Repititeur at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Ms. Kolisnikova is a graduate of the Vaganova Academy, and received her instructor diploma from the Vaganova Institute. 

Participation in this program gave Ms. Voelpel the opportunity to further upgrade her knowledge and teaching skills of the Vaganova syllabus with the finest Vaganova method teachers from Russia, Europe, and North America, while also taking master classes in ballet, jazz, and character.

In August 2000, she attended the Gus Giordano Workshop of the Jazz Dance World Congress at the University of New York at Buffalo.  This workshop provided a unique opportunity to study with one of the world’s foremost jazz companies.

In July 2001, Ms. Voelpel completed a week-long Vaganova Teacher Training Program under the direction of John White, co-founder of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet and a founding member of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Mr. White has been directing Vaganova Teacher Training for over 20 years, and is the author of Teaching Classical Ballet, a seminal text for classical dance teachers.

This pedagogue course provided comprehensive study of Years 1, 2, and 3 of the Vaganova Syllabus.

In July, 2002, she continued her Vaganova Teacher Training with Mr. White, completing a week-long intensive pedagogue course covering Years 4, 5, and 6 of the Vaganova Syllabus.

Ms. Voelpel was also selected to attend the first-ever Luigi Jazz Intensive later in July 2001. The week-long training program with the master himself included technique, style, and repertory.

Ms. Voelpel continues to study jazz with Luigi at his New York studio.

Ms. Voelpel completed Finis Jhung's New York City Teacher Training Workshop in August, 2005.

Read more information about Ms. Voelpel from News accounts.


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Last modified: August 03, 2016