Dimensions in Dance, Ballet Misha's affiliate school, was founded in 1995 by Michele Leslie, a professional dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem. Her vision for the school was to teach dance as an art form, not as a competitive sport. Dimensions in Dance, which was taken over by Amy Fortier in 2007, stays true to Leslie's original vision of emphasizing the artistry of dance through top notch professional training and myriad performance opportunities for dancers of all ages.
Dimensions in Dance is a school that fosters friendship while maintaining high standards of dance training. Dancers trained at our studio have gone on to study at programs including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Walnut Hill School, Boston Conservatory, and The Joffery Ballet, among many others.
Both Dimensions in Dance and our company Ballet Misha are deeply committed to increasing exposure to the Arts in our community. We have given dozens of free dance performances at local schools, public libraries, retirement communities, The Currier Museum of Art, the YMCA, and The Manchester Community Music School. We have also performed at Intown Manchester’s Family Fun Fest in Veteran’s Park.
Our annual production at the Palace Theatre is a family favorite because instead of the typical format for a recital with dance routine after dance routine, we actually do a full length story production with sets and backdrops. Every year, we put together a full-length story production involving all of our students who wish to be in the show, from pre-school to adult. We use sets, backdrops, and beautiful costumes to create an amazing show each year at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Our past productions include Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, and many other great stories.
We believe it is important for dancers to feel like they are “part of a production” instead of just being in their annual recital. Many families say our unique annual production is one of their favorite aspects of our school because they are so much more enjoyable to watch than a normal recital that has unrelated dance routine after dance routine.
Our performing company Ballet Misha provides several additional performance experiences every year for dancers who wish to perform more. Ballet Misha's The Nutcracker was selected at the “Best Art Event of the year” in the Hippo Press for 2012, 2013, and 2014. We have also done a full length ballet of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Wild Swans, Isabella and the Pirate Prince, Where the Wild Things are, as well as several performances of new choreographic works.
The school is also committed to providing Dimensions in Dance students with a diverse dance education by organizing field trips to see professional dance productions. New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey, James Sewell Ballet, Pilabolus, and Ballet Hispanico are among the many professional dance companies the school has seen. The school has also organized trips to Saratoga, NY in the summer to visit the National Museum of Dance and see New York City Ballet perform at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
In 2012, Dimensions in Dance purchased a vacant Historic building built in 1920 on Myrtle Street in downtown Manchester. After a year of renovations and historic preservation, Dimensions in Dance was excited to move into this beautiful new space.
Dance is for Everyone!
In addition to providing valuable physical fitness, dancing offers a wealth of important skills for all ages. Dancing improves coordination, flexibility, and complex motor skills, which is why many professional athletes take dance classes. Even if children only dance for a few years, the proper posture they learn in class can last a lifetime. For adults who often spend so much time in repetitive postures, like staring at a computer screen or carrying children and heavy bags, dance helps to correct postural and muscular problems. Dance also teaches musicality, enabling dancers to identify different types of music, as well as count and phrase music. Scientific studies have also shown that children who take dance classes have improved study skills as dance class necessitates the continual memorization of vocabulary and movement phrases, which improves memory skills. This is also true for adults, and studies have shown that taking dance classes helps prevent diseases like Alzheimer's. Dance also teaches discipline and builds self-esteem and confidence. Plus, it is lots of fun and is a great way to release stress!