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Virginia Beach Ballet Academy


The Finest Classical Ballet Training in Hampton Roads!

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Virginia Beach Ballet Academy


The Finest Classical Ballet Training in Hampton Roads!

Virginia Beach Ballet Academy

Virginia Beach Ballet Academy has provided professional training in Classical Ballet for over 35 years. This family owned company has over 100 collective years of classical ballet history, with performances in over 10 countries with some of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world. Virginia Beach Ballet Academy trains its dancers in the Vaganova (Russian) and Cecchetti (Italian) methods of classical ballet.

Ballet, especially classical ballet, puts great emphasis on the method and execution of movement. A distinctive feature of ballet is the continuous outward rotation of the thighs from the hip, referred to as turnout. The foundation of the dance consists of five basic positions, all performed with the turnout. At Virginia Beach Ballet Academy dancers receive a rigorous education in the school's method of dance, which begins when they are young and ends with graduation from high school. 

Students are required to learn the names, meanings, and precise technique of each movement they learn. Emphasis is put on building strength mostly in the lower body, particularly the legs, and the core as a strong core is necessary for all movements in ballet, especially turns, and on developing flexibility and strong feet for dancing en pointe. Additionally, Virginia Beach Ballet Academy differentiates itself from other ballet schools in the area by also emphasizing the importance of developing beautiful port de bras.

Begin with the best and get your classical ballet training with a company that has worked and trained with the finest. Virginia Beach Ballet Academy was established in 1980 and proudly serves the Hampton Roads (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, and Newport News).

Artistic Director: Ana Maria Martinez

5465 Virginia Beach Boulevard

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462

Tel: (757) 456-0104

 

Summer Class Schedule

Summer classes are now underway. Our summer classes are offered from July 6, 2015 to August 13, 2015. Click here for more details.

Fall Class Schedule

A tentative fall class schedule is now available. Please click here for more details. Please be advised that the schedule and prices are subject to change.

registration form

Sign up today! We require that an online registration form be completed for all VBBA students. Please click here to get started!

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Our Foundation


A Tradition of Excellence! Enrique Martinez (American Ballet Theatre); Teresa Martinez; Rodolfo Martinez; and Ana Maria Martinez.

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Our Foundation


A Tradition of Excellence! Enrique Martinez (American Ballet Theatre); Teresa Martinez; Rodolfo Martinez; and Ana Maria Martinez.

Enrique Martinez, Founder

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Well known as Director, Ballet Master, and Regisseur, Enrique's professional ballet career began with the Alicia Alonso Ballet, now known as National Ballet of Cuba. Enrique performed with the American Ballet Theater for 33 years until 1980, traveling the world to countries such as the former Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Japan, and throughout the Middle East.

Enrique was born in Havana, where he received his ballet training. His teachers included Alicia Alonso and Igor Schwezoff. Enrique was offered a contract with American Ballet Theatre after Lucia Chase, director of the troupe, saw him performing with a Cuban company. He joined the New York troupe in 1947 and remained with it until 1980.

Enrique started in the corps de ballet and moved up to soloist before becoming a ballet master, ballet director, and assistant director of American Ballet Theatre.

Enrique was known for a serenity that did not fail him even when tested by the most volatile of ballet stars. In 1968, he created a sunny, good-natured production of ''Coppelia'' and became associated with that ballet.

Enrique choreographed and staged the classics for companies including the National Ballet of Cuba; the Dusseldorf Ballet; troupes associated with La Scala in Milan, Italy, and the opera houses of Rome and Helsinki, Finland; the Milwaukee Ballet, and companies in Atlanta, Denver, Detroit and Norfolk, Va. During the 1980's and early 90's he directed and helped organize ballet companies in Mexico, Rio de Janeiro and Caracas, Venezuela. His most recent productions, created in the late 1990's, were stagings of ''Coppelia'' for the Atlanta Ballet and companies in Canada and France.

Enrique Martinez, In La Fille mal gardée.

Enrique Martinez, In La Fille mal gardée.

Margaret Craske, a cecchetti pupil who became ballet mistress of Ballet Theater in 1947, conducts a class with Enrique Martinez.

Margaret Craske, a cecchetti pupil who became ballet mistress of Ballet Theater in 1947, conducts a class with Enrique Martinez.

Enrique Martinez, Assistant Director, American Ballet Theatre

Enrique Martinez, Assistant Director, American Ballet Theatre

Teresa Martinez, Founder

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Teresa Martinez established the Virginia Beach Ballet Academy in 1980, but her dancing career began much earlier when she lived in Cuba.

Teresa and her brother, Enrique Martinez, were members of the prestigious National Ballet of Cuba. As a sideline, the pair had a ballroom dancing act as "Sonja e Henry." They drew applause in many of Havana's lively nightclubs.

Teresa was involved in several local dance troupes and other artistic groups, including the Norfolk Civic Ballet, the Tidewater Ballet Association and the Virginia Beach Conservatory of Dance. Many of her students went on to professional companies such as the Joffrey, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the New York City Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre.

In 1970, more than a decade after Castro came to power, Teresa's family was allowed to depart. "We left all our possessions," Ana Maria Martinez said. "We never returned to Cuba."

Since an uncle had earlier settled in Norfolk, the group made their home in Hampton Roads. Teresa was quickly hired by the late Gene Hammett, veteran director of the Norfolk Civic Ballet - now the Virginia Ballet Theatre. She was also active in local Hispanic associations and worked beauty pageants staged by Filipino clubs. "She was a great Cuban cook," her daughter said, recalling her specialties: picadillo, arroz con pollo, and black beans and rice.

Norfolk Academy dance master Elbert Watson, a former student, recalled her emphasis on elegance. "She always told us to use our upper bodies to express ourselves in an elegant manner," said Watson, who performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater before joining the faculty at Norfolk Academy. "She said the music should come through your pores. You become the music."

Teresa Martinez, Founder

Teresa Martinez, Founder

Ana Maria Martinez, 1973

Ana Maria Martinez, 1973

Enrique Martinez, Founder

Enrique Martinez, Founder

Ana Maria Martinez, Artistic Director

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Ana Maria Martinez began her ballet training at the age of 6 at the Tidewater Ballet Association, where she studies for the next 10 consecutive years.

Ana Maria was accepted to the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre School on full scholarship at the ages of 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16. 

At the age of 14, Ana Maria danced the leading role of the full length ballet Copellia, with Eddie Mayer, principal dance of The Pennsylvania Ballet Co.

Ana Maria danced Don Quixote's Pas de Deux, and Tchaikovsky's Pas de Deux, choreographed by George Balanchine, and other leading roles for different Ballet Companies, and danced with professional companies in Caracas, Venezuela, and Duluth, Minnesota.

Ana Maria is the current Artistic Director and Children's Teacher at the Virginia Beach Ballet Academy.

Here is a link to an article by hamptonroads.com about Ana Maria Martinez and the Virginia Beach Ballet Academy.

Rodolfo Martinez, Founder

Rodolfo Martinez and Ana Maria Martinez

Rodolfo Martinez and Ana Maria Martinez

Rodolfo started as an actor and folkloric dancer in "Compania Juvenil de la Habana," together with his brothers Jose and Enrique and sister Teresa.

After attending the "Academy of Dramatic Arts" in Havana, Rodolfo joined several artistic groups and companies, such as "Grupo ADAD," "University Theatre," "Patronato del Teatro" and others. He participated in the staging of many plays, classic and contemporary theatre, in both experimental and commercial.

In the Hampton Roads area, he worked for Television Producer Elaine Mills in a series of educational tapes for Dunn and Bradstreet and Channel 13. Rodolfo did television commercial work and other performing jobs for CBN, as well as several print works for "Models, Inc."

Rodolfo has produced and emceed many shows for The Spanish-American Club, Harborfest, and other artistic organizations in the Hampton Roads area.