Vail Daily letter: Other local groups introduce youth to performing arts
We enjoyed Scott Miller’s article “Stepping in to Save a Studio” (June 17, 2017), showing that interest in the performing arts is alive and well in Eagle County. There are actually two more important organizations that offer year-round training in the performing arts to young people here in the valley.
The Vail Performing Arts Academy is headed by Annah Scully and taught by artistic director Colin Meiring, who had a 25-year global career including Broadway, television, film, and 10 international dance titles. Vail Performing Arts Academy has been active since 1995, and puts on four major musical theater productions every year, as well as providing ongoing programs in the public schools. They serve 600 kids annually, offering training in dance, singing and acting. Anyone from age 8 to 18 who wishes to participate can enroll, and scholarships are available.
The second organization is the Vail Valley Academy of Dance, run by Anne Powell, a former professional ballerina with Memphis Ballet, Oklahoma University Ballet, Moveable Parts and Dance Detroit. In addition to her performing experience, Powell has dedicated her life to ongoing education in the art of teaching dance, as well as completing a masters degree in Education Counseling and Psychology. Vail Valley Academy of Dance offers training in ballet, tap, hip-hop, and jazz and contemporary dance throughout the year for children aged 3 – 18. They serve 275 kids annually at their studios in Edwards, and again, all who wish to participate can enroll, with scholarships available. VVAD opened their doors in 1989.
Both organizations prepare students for college, and if young performers show keen interest, for careers in the performing arts. Both organizations have graduates who have gone on to have careers in dance. As professionals in the performing arts field ourselves, we recognize the vital importance of the arts in children’s lives. We are indeed fortunate that there are such talented and committed performing artists with highly esteemed credentials working to serve our young people here in the Vail Valley.
Gina Browning and Joe Illick