Returning home

Published 9:49 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2007

By By Michele Gerlach – special to the Standard
For as long as she can remember, Ginny Smith has wanted to be a ballerina.
The 2004 T.R. Miller graduate had planned to enroll in college at Birmingham Southern after her high school graduation. But the Nashville Ballet summer program in which she enrolled that year led to another opportunity. She accepted a trainee job with the Nashville Ballet.
Smith moved into a Nashville apartment with three other dancers and spent her weekdays training seven or eight hours each day.
Smith's other job was as a hostess at Outback Steakhouse. She also babysat for a family.
As a Nashville Ballet trainee, Smith danced in productions of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, among others.
Smith recently accepted a position with the Montgomery Ballet and also will dance with the Lazar Ballet, which is based in New York City but does work in many parts of the country, including Andalusia.
In Montgomery, Smith will be working with a smaller company.
The Montgomery Ballet just announced the appointment of Elie Lazar as artistic director. Lazar also is the founder of The Lazar Ballet and has worked closely with the Andalusia Ballet for several years.
Smith is working this week in her ballet home - the Andalusia Ballet - as it completes the second week of its Summer Intensive classes. She will dance with the local company as it presents the Second Act of Swan Lake in this Friday's Evening of Dance.
For the production, she is partnered with another Lazar Ballet dancer, Ian Morris.
She said that in Nashville, the dancers who had the lead roles prepared for many months.
She said Morris is &#8220great to work with.”
When couples dance as partners, she said, communication is very important.
At the end of Summer Intensive, dancers are mentally and physically stronger, she said.
Smith began dancing in Andalusia when she was 7, and has wanted to dance professionally &#8220as far back as I can remember.”
That dream required quite a commitment from her parents, Paul and Janice Smith of Brewton, to get her to and from classes because she also had three older brothers who were involved in football, basketball and baseball.
Near the end of a long day of rehearsing Monday, Smith's ankles were taped and her blistered feet were bleeding.
When the Andalusia Ballet's Summer Intensive ends, Smith will join local dancers for a week of study in New York City. After that, she'll have a week off before heading to the Montgomery Ballet's Summer Intensive, which ends with their annual &#8220Performance on the Green.”
Evening of Dance, which includes Smith's Swan Lake performance is set for 7:30 p.m. this Friday, June 15, in the Dixon Performing Arts Center on the LBWCC Campus. Mary Ashton McMillan, also of Brewton, is dancing in the performance, as well.