California Arts Academy: An Inside Look At Ballet Department Director Carla Lippert
May 11, 2016 05:23PM
● By Melanie Heisinger
California Arts Academy has been around since the early 2000s, inspiring young performers to refine their craft, and perform for their loved ones. Founded by Chris Campbell and Julie Ann Keller, who initially purchased Cynthia Merrill's studio, they wanted to provide a more professional space for aspiring young performers.
Carla's history with ballet is rich and exciting. "Just briefly," she states. "I had a 20 year career
As an after thought, she added, "Oh yes, I also was a bronze medalist in the Jackson International Ballet Competition in 1982. It was a great experience and is a great story with a documentary about that year." Her humble approach to her own history was evident the rest of the interview.
Though we are very curious to learn more about this documentary, it was important to get back to the California Arts Academy, their history, and learn more about the Ballet Department.
According to Carla, when California Arts Academy was first created, she was with Severance at the time, another dance studio in the area.
"I was teaching at Severance for Chris and Francoise Doyle," Carla said. "I continued there until they left town around 2007. Things were pretty rough at Severance at that time. The business was sold, separating it from the building, and we rented space in a business park on Escalon and Blackstone. We were owned for a short time by Happy Hearts Dance until Chris and Julie Ann bought us and the building, reuniting the business and the building, which goes back to the days of Byron Kay."
Around 2008, Carla joined the California Arts Academy (CAA) team, and has happily been with them ever since.
Carla now heads the ballet department, and she was willing to answer a few of our questions, so read on to find out more about the CAA and the Ballet Department's mission.
What are your goals for the group and where do you see it heading? What sort of activities will you focus on?
CL: The goals for the Ballet Department of CAA are to train students in the art form of classical ballet and the joys of dance. We are well aware that there is a small percentage of students able to make a career of this but there is so much more that they can derive from this training - discipline, poise, creativity, athleticism, musicality, culture, self-esteem, self awareness, working in groups, etiquette in the classroom, presentation onstage, achieving goals, and so much more!
What's something people usually assume about CAA? What do people usually assume that's incorrect?
What is your personal favorite aspect of the CAA and your mission?
What's the funniest, strangest, most unusual thing people have asked you?
What are some recent or upcoming changes that people should know about?
Summer programs sound great! Is there an age limit?
How was creating original work and having it performed? Was it the first time your work was performed and presented?