By Will Estell
If you are a lover of the arts, dance and, more specifically, ballet, and you reside anywhere along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, you may already be well aware of Destin’s Studio6Twenty5 and this relatively new school’s efforts to answer the need for instruction in the growing demand for classical performing arts. If you aren’t, that’s o.k., too, because we’re about to change that.
Studio6Twenty5, located in Destin, is the brainchild of Northwest Florida native and professional dancer, Rachel Prescott, who opened her school last August.
Prescott’s personal experience – having moved to New York City and danced professionally for some time – ensures that both classical ballet and contemporary dance are taught at her studio, and presented in a way that inspires and educates both the students and our community as to the strong benefits of ballet and the discipline that comes with mastering it.
Studio6Twenty5 uses the American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum, consisting of a nine-level program, combining the fundamentals of dancer health, adolescent development and a high degree of artistic training.
The curriculum consists of in-depth, age-appropriate instruction ranging from classes for Pre-Primary Ballet, primary A & B, Intermediate, Tap, Jazz and Pointe to advanced classes. The school has 50 children and 15 adults enrolled, and offers classes six days a week in various disciplines.
Prescott emphasizes that, “Outcome-based guidelines, such as ours, tend to provide the highest quality ballet training to a variety of students of all ages and skill levels. Our mission is to be a community school, for, and made up of, students and adults here in these coastal communities—the same communities our own family loves and calls home.”
As interesting and artistically inspirational as everything Rachel has conveyed to me about Studio6Twenty5, one of the most intriguing aspects to me is the family and community aspect, and how important that camaraderie and sense of family is to her.
“I’m from Fort Walton, and grew up in Destin, and have been involved in ballet since I was barely old enough to walk. My dad (renowned Destin architect, Jeffrey Prescott) was a dancer all of my life, and was a driving force in my becoming hooked on ballet at an early age.
“I did The Nutcracker at six years old,” she said. “My 7-year-old daughter is involved, and my 77-year-old dad still dances every week. He even drops by often to talk with and encourage the students. He’s particularly inspiring to our male students in helping them to overlook and break the stereotype that has often been associated with boys and men taking ballet.”
Prescott’s students, along with those of the studio’s assistant director, Shaye Smith, are developed as individual artists through well-rounded, classical curriculums and are supported by a nurturing, positive, curated environment that evolves from the instructors’ own love and passion for ballet.
As a showcase of this dedication and training, Studio6Twenty5’s staff and students will present “Coppelia: A Ballet in Three Acts,” featuring all 50 children and 15 adult students, for two general admission ticketed shows on June 3 and 4 at Destin Community Center.
Rachel, her students and staff invite all to attend and see firsthand what their school’s innate attention to training, community and the wonderful art of ballet is all about.
For tickets and more information about Studio6Twenty5, visit Studio6Twenty5.com.