Founded in 2002 by Chauniece R. Thompson, Ballet On Wheels (BOW) is Memphis’ first non-profit pre-professional African American ballet school and dance company. BOW’s mission is to develop and define art education and appreciation of classical ballet and other dance genres, through self discipline, creative expression and performance exposure, in young people of diverse backgrounds. Ballet On Wheels provides dance instruction in classical ballet, creative movement, pointe, modern and hip hop, serving nearly 150 youth in their midtown studio and through satellite programs with Girl Scouts, Memphis Business Academy and Hillcrest High School. BOW empowers young dancers to share their creativity through the structure of strict dance disciplines, resulting in a unique hybrid performance. Every year, their performances include dancers of all skill and age levels to encourage growth and responsibility. Older students take leadership roles in choreography and staging of the younger dancers’ performances – all part of BOW’s special emphasis on community engagement and public performance exposure opportunities. Ballet On Wheels’ goal is to provide a dancing opportunity to any committed dancer who enters their environment, so they also have a scholarship program to support young dancers’ dreams.
You can see Ballet On Wheels at the Youth Classical Arts Concert with PRIZM Ensemble, an incredible showcase of student-led and collaborative harmony within music and dance, on Saturday, January 25 at 7 p.m. at the Buckman Performing Arts Center.