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Meet Lisa Slagle of Ballet Academy of Texas in Coppell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Slagle.

Lisa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In 1996 I began directing a ballet school inside of a gymnastics academy in Coppell.

Within a few years it had outgrown the one space I was allotted so I decided to go out on my own. In 1999 the Ballet Academy of Texas was begun. In 2005, it had grown enough to be able to have its own building located in the center of Coppell near the corner of Sandy Lake Rd and Denton Tap Rd. I’m proud to say that the majority of my staff has been with me since the school began. In 2007, I was asked to be on the advisory board for American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum, which my teachers have since been trained in and we follow as a guide for our ballet training. Many of our students have gone on to dance professionally and to receive generous scholarships for either their dance studies or for college. We began a pre-professional performing company, the Ballet Ensemble of Texas, in 2001 to give the advanced students more opportunities to perform. The school and company put on 4 performances annually of “The Nutcracker” in December, and the Ballet Ensemble has additional performances in the Spring of various ballets, with both events at the Irving Arts Center.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Initially the obstacle was not having enough space for the demand. The city of Coppell was booming and there was a great need for a traditional ballet school.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ballet Academy of Texas – what should we know?
In addition to directing the school, I also teach the upper level ballet classes and occasionally choreograph for both the school and performing company. I guess I am most proud of the reputation the school has achieved nationally for being a place for good training where pre-professional dancers are well-prepared for the rigors of dance as a profession. We have been able to attract the top teachers and directors to come as guest teachers and choreographers and they are always pleased with the work of the students. My staff and I strive to create a positive, nurturing environment for all age children so they can experience the self-confidence and discipline that comes from dance training.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I would say that my consistent and well-liked staff of not only ballet teachers but also tap and jazz teachers has played a big role in the business’s success. Also, the support of New York’s American Ballet Theatre, as well as various well-known teachers and choreographers such as the late Fernando Bujones, Thom Clower, and Susan Jones.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Cathy Vanover Photography

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