• Private Coaching by Sherry Moray

  • Miss Moray has had the pleasure of coaching and producing Ballerinas for the past 27 years. Her exceptionally trained Ballerinas are a jewel in so many national and internationally prestigious Ballet Companies due to the detail and comprehensive scope of their training.

    Attention to the following 15 Point List is a Hallmark of the master private coaching and pedagogical system each dancer receives under the tutelage of Sherry Moray and the Academy staff.

  • 1. Development of Clean Technique for Clarity of Movement in ALL areas….

    • Footwork/development of strong supple arches for Advanced Pointe work
    • Adagio
    • Pirouettes
    • Correct Port de Bras and épaulement for stylistic nuance that is appropriate to various styles of movement
    • Petite and Grand Allegro

    This is achieved through a combination of the Vaganova Method and Balanchine Style and Technique which creates superior and accomplished Ballerinas that are well-rounded stylistically and technically. This makes dancers a valuable commodity to any company and the perfect “tool” for all choreographers to work with to achieve artistic success – both for their creations and for the artists they create on.

    1. Each method is the spring board and foundation of classicism which is striving for perfection of form, beauty, and expressive movement that truly eminates from within and radiates with and to the music. Dancers are taught to move from their center out.

    2. Development of each dancer as a true artist (not just a technician) through encouragement to find their inner voice as an artist. This develops confidence which creates artists with a strong stage presence and makes choreographers and artistic directors sit up and take notice for future employment as well as swift advancement once employed in a company.

    3. Miss Moray prides herself in producing dancers with exceptionally high Développés and Grand Battements in ALL positions achieved through supplemental exercises and extreme stretching and strengthening routines.

    4. Miss Moray is an expert in the development of "Strong Turners" (multiple Pirouettes). She teaches her students the true understanding of the physics of centrifugal force, and how to create this in all turns using proper coordination technique and skills for each type of Pirouette, Grand Pirouette, or Fouette.

    5. Development of dancers with strong clean Petite and Grand Allegro which is essential for dancers seeking employment in top companies. Dancers who dream of dancing in stellar Ballet or Contemporary companies, must be able to meet the performing demands of that company’s repertoire of ballets which always needs dancers with strong jumping capabilities.

    6. Miss Moray teaches dancers to develop certain Bravura “specialty steps” to have as part of their personal repertoire of steps as an added bonus so that each dancer is of more value to companies and choreographers.

      Some Examples of Specialty Steps and Movements
      • Illusions
      • Fouettés that change spots
      • Fouettés that revolve to the left while still turning to the right
      • Fouettés that travel en diagonal
      • Sur les Pointe “slides”
      • Dive Penché – Sur les Pointe
      • OFF Balance Extensions (needed in the Balanchine Repertoire)
      • Split and over-split jumps – à la seconde & Grand Jeté
      • Split Sissonne Jumps
      • Grand Fouetté en dehors and en dedans
      • Chainé turns spotting in opposition of where the dancer is traveling
      • Stag jumps
      • Pas de Ciseaux – only female dancers with a large ballonne are taught this
      • ALL forms of hopping Sur les pointe on two feet and one foot
      • Complex En Mange Combinations
      • Learning complex choreography so dancers are prepared for working in professional companies.
      • Note: Men are taught by Male teachers many specialty steps that are not always done by female dancers such as tour en lair, Pas de Ciseaux, Revoltade, Grand Fouette Sauté, Entrechat Six de Volé, etc.

    7. Development and understanding of Core Muscle Groups is of utmost importance to create a dancer with true aplomb which gives beauty and artistic nuance to all movement. Supplemental training in Pilates and Stretch and Strengthening classes are highly advised. This helps greatly in injury prevention for each dancer which is foremost in importance of keeping dancers healthy and injury free as they train. Dancers are pushed to succeed but only within perimeters that they are physically and mentally prepared for and capable of.

    8. Development of dancers with exceptional musicality, and sensitivity to what the music is saying to them and how to respond artistically to the “voice” of each type of musical piece. This is trained by exploring the innate usage of their inner metronome, and using classical and contemporary music of the masters that excite dancers to respond artistically. Dancers are trained as great choreographer and Ballet Master George Balanchine taught – Dancers must learn to excite their audiences to “See the Music” and “Hear the Dance” through the rhythm and movements that each and every part of their body creates. Only training dancers in this manner can truly produce accomplished artists of worth.

    9. Understanding of épaulement and correct usage of the head to correspond and coordinate with all port de bras and movement is essential. Dancers who do not have purity of line or true understanding of moving the arms from the center out lack expressive beauty in the upper body. Proper usage and coordination of the head for all pirouettes and movement is essential for correct form, weight placement, and spotting in pirouettes.

    10. Development of dancing with the eyes as an expressive tool of communication that is addressed from pliés at the barre to every step a dancer takes. Eyes must give focus, clarity, and express and communicate the inner voice and intent of each movement, each port de bras. In this manner, dancers develop a strong presence on stage that captivates an audience and illuminates the artist.

    11. Coaching classical and contemporary variations that are performed at Youth America Grand Prix’s Regional and National Competitions, and at Academy June Performances. (Dancers are also trained in Corps de Ballet work and Small Group pieces). In this manner, dancers receive critiques from other nationally accredited Master Instructors which continue the process of development of technical and artistic needs for each dancer.

      Performing “under pressure” is an experience that each dancer must learn to handle from an early age. The stage and performing for an audience must become second nature and a challenging experience that the artist embraces with love, passion, and enthusiasm.

      As much as participating and training for a dance competition can be a wonderful learning experience, it must be kept in perspective at all times. The outcome of that one moment in time does not define a dancer or their future. Parents and students must stay focused on long term career goals which truly propel a dancer to success in the dance world. Remember most of the great Ballerina’s of the 20th century and currently, never attended or participated in a dance competition.

    12. Training in both Classical and Contemporary variations is essential in the development of learning and responding to various styles of movement and music. This pushes dancers technically and artistically and helps prepare them for the rigors and expectations of working in a professional ballet company. Top Guest Master Instructors are also brought in periodically to access students and continue the progress in development that each student needs.

    13. Dancers, trained under the tutelage of Sherry Moray, can be assured of training in a State-of-the-Art Facility. The Academy of Dance Arts has “sprung floors” and “Harlequin” Studio and "Cascade" Marley Overlays. This state-of-the-art system of flooring is used by every major Dance Company in the world for injury prevention and protection. That is why Academy dancers train on this exceptional flooring system. When injuries do occur, due to the athletic nature of dance, The Academy has many specialists in Dance that we refer our clientele to. This group of highly trained doctors and dance therapists understand and take care of the needs of our dancers to heal them, so training may proceed with as little interruption as possible.

    14. Through training and emotional support, Miss Moray helps her young Ballerina’s to develop focus, drive, and determination to succeed, so they may be successful in reaching their goals and dreams. Miss Moray is their coach, their mentor, and their sounding board in order to have good open communication, clarity, and understanding. Miss Moray is very clear of the high expectations of each dancer, so they feel confident to push themselves and reach their full potential as future professional Ballerinas.
  • Below is a list of dancers who trained at The Academy of Dance Arts and were privately coached by Sherry Moray. These young Ballerinas are active Professional Dancers or a few that are recently retired from their career (indicated by "*").

    • Ashley Lynn - Principal Dancer, Ballet Austin
    • Angeline Zuccarini - Principal Dancer, Stuttgart Ballet in Germany
    • Heather Chin - Stuttgart Ballet, Taiwan Ballet *
    • Jordan Gazdziak - Alabama Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre *
    • Stephanie Wisner - Tulsa Ballet *
    • Kristan Laubenstein - Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Austin *
    • Samantha DeBenedictis - Alabama Ballet, Arizona Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet *
    • Marissa DeBenedictis - Atlanta Ballet, Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota
    • Lauren Baznik - Zurich Ballet in Switzerland, Charlotte Ballet *
    • Joanna Wozniak - Soloist, Joffrey Ballet
    • Alyssa Frystak - Milwaukee Ballet, St. Louis Ballet *
    • Mica Ward - Montgomery Ballet *
    • Rachel Kuhr - Alabama Ballet, Professional World Class Belly Dance Star *
    • Jessica Borowczyk - Bodiography Contemporary Ballet Co. *
    • Maan Nabong - Alabama Ballet, Lyric Opera of Chicago *
    • Gina Lathrop - Ballet Pacifica *
    • Victoria Born - American Ballet Theatre *
    • Rebecca Lemme - River North Dance Co. - Contemporary/Modern Choreographer
    • Jill Economakos - Inaside Dance Co. - Modern Choreographer
    • Robin Gayle - Soloist, Columbia City Ballet *
    • Meghan Lynch - Royal Winnipeg Ballet - Canada, American Ballet Theatre II, Texas Ballet Theatre
    • Julia Turner - Grand Rapids Ballet Co.
    • Autumn Steed - Miami City Ballet, Alabama Ballet - Click for Photo
    • Alexis Caruso - Ballet Austin, Nevada Ballet Theatre *

    Many of the Academy Ballet program dancers have gone on to receive full or partial dance scholarships at Major Dance Programs throughout the U.S. as well. Under Miss Moray's guidance and the Academy's Ballet Training Program, strong beautiful Contemporary/Modern Dancers are being produced. Due to their exceptional technical ballet foundation, Academy dancers have an edge which makes them sought after by Top College Dance Programs.

    Graduated Academy Dancers have also worked on Broadway, with major professional Tap Companies, and cutting edge world class Modern and Contemporary Companies, utilizing their ballet training every step of the way.

    To say I am proud of all these dancers trained under my tutelage at the Academy, is a gross understatement. All Academy dancers that have or are treading the professional stages across the U.S. and abroad, are leaving their distinctive mark on the world of dance through the beauty and joy of their remarkable talents. A true treasure which is given to their audiences, nurtured, grown, and developed at the Academy of Dance Arts.

  • Dear Parents and Students,

    The above list is a small porthole into the pedagogical training that comprises the method I practice when training, molding and developing young ballerinas and contemporary dancers.

    Each dancer has very specific needs and after careful consideration, I adjust the Kaleidoscope of needs so that the best results for each dancer can be obtained.  In order to achieve those goals it is of utmost importance that dancer and parents be guided by my expertise and experience to achieve the success they seek.

    When parents and students work closely with me and trust, the results are fruitful.  I help to make contacts for them with the powers that be in the professional ballet world - but only when a dancer is truly ready to be seen and judged!  In this manner, I have achieved remarkable success in creating dancers that have gone on to make their mark in the world of professional ballet.

    I am extremely proud of the many Ballerinas and Prima Ballerinas working (or recently retired) in major companies in the U.S. and in Europe. I am equally proud of all the wonderful Contemporary, Modern, Tap, and Broadway Dancers the Academy has produced and that I have worked with for their ballet foundation skills and technique.

    For more information, or to speak directly with me, please contact The Academy of Dance Arts and leave your information and phone number.  I shall respond and be happy to discuss the needs of your dancer after a routine viewing in Academy classes for evaluation.

    Sherry Moray
    Director - The Academy of Dance Arts

  • Private Lesson Students

    (Examples of Current and Alumni Students)

  • Academy Student -
    Liza Artensen

  • Academy Alumni -
    Meghan Lynch

  • Academy Student -
    Lauren Alving

  • Academy Alumni -
    Autumn Steed

  • Fun at the Photo Shoot!!