PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- The sound of a recorded piano playing Phillipe Reverdi echoes in the studio with white floors and a wall of mirrors as ballet students in leotards perform stretching exercises.
"You must have respect for the body," said Carole Alexis, who recently opened up her dance school Ballet des Amériques in Port Chester.
Ballet des Amériques offers pre-professional training in ballet for students ages 4 to 19. The curriculum for beginners starts with classical training and over time incorporates elements of more modern styles.
Trained in Paris, Alexis brings the influence of French-style ballet into her studio, which in addition to perfecting technique, also focuses on conditioning the body for the rigors of the art.
"You must ask, are you preparing the student to dance just for a while or for the rest of their life?" said Alexis.
As a pre-professional training studio, Alexis said students are being prepared to choose ballet as a career, though the choice will ultimately lie with the student.
Regardless, Alexis said learning the art instills students with discipline and confidence that can serve them in anything they pursue.
"When you find there is a limitation, dance pushes you to go to the next level, she said.
Have you thought about having your children learn ballet?
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