Baylor Classical Ballet Society to enchant with ‘Sleeping Beauty’

The Baylor Classical Ballet Society practices in the Bill Daniel Student Center. Photo courtesy of Ashley Tu

By Olivia Turner | Staff Writer

The Barfield Drawing Room in the Bill Daniel Student Center serves many purposes for Baylor students. On April 24, the Baylor Classical Ballet Society is transforming the grand space into a magical stage where dancers will perform ballet variations from “Sleeping Beauty,” in a showcase of contemporary dances.

Union City sophomore Ashley Tu, one of the members of the society, said the dancers will be performing the “Fairy Entrance” and the waltz portions of the production. Though ballet is traditionally thought of as an art requiring lots of experience, Tu said the Classical Ballet Society is the exception. She said she is very proud of her dancers for taking on this tricky feat.

“Some of the girls didn’t come from a rigorous ballet background, so to see them practice outside of rehearsals and improving every week is very exciting,” Tu said.

Austin freshman Lainey Rowsell said the ballet dancers have had the opportunity to perform the fairies through solos. Among these are the Bluebird, Canary, Violente, Gold, Silver and Finger faires whose roles in the ballet are to come and bless Princess Aurora at her birth.

Rowsell, who plays the Canary Fairy, said the roles are defining for the production.

“We’re all different, each of the fairies has their own personality,” Rowsell said.

Another ballet dancer, Houston freshman Eva Lampasas, also has a fairy solo: the Violente Fairy. Lampasas said Violente is known for her temper and expresses her angry spirit through pointing fingers throughout the dance.

Lampasas said she has also choreographed a contemporary piece for the show called “Crystals,” a piece with an upbeat and an overcoming theme. She said although she is more comfortable and familiar with contemporary dances like “Crystals,” she is grateful for the opportunity the Classical Ballet Society has allowed her to give ballet a shot.

“Even sometimes I’m out of my comfort zone because I’m not a very classical ballet dancer, but I always feel included when I’m dancing because everyone’s really considerate of each other,” Lampasas said.

Because the society does not require dancers to audition in order to join the group, Lampasas and Rowell said the mood in the studio is more relaxed and low-pressure.

“Some days I want to push myself and improve my technique and other days I want to relax and move my body,” Rowell said.

Rowell said one of the most significant ways dance has impacted her is through the mind-body connection. Because of dance, Rowell said her sense of place and physical awareness has been much improved, something she said is unique to dancers.

Rowell also said she finds happiness through dance simply as an art.

“I think it’s good for people to be exposed to different forms of dance,” Rowell said. “It’s enriching as going to any museum would be, just learning more about different art forms is good for preserving culture.”

She said she encourages anyone who has interest for dance to attend the group’s performance of “Sleeping Beauty” in hopes that experiencing this culture will ignite the same spark of happiness and passion in them as in her.