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Lasting Memories opens ballet program


Cove Leader-Press


Lasting Memories Fine Arts Studio held an open house Saturday morning from 9 a.m. until noon.

Crystal Bardowell, owner and instructor for Lasting Memories, held her open house at Absolute Self Defense Academy in Town Square, as she recently began teaching her classes there. 

Bardowell offers art classes (drawing and painting), sewing instruction (hand and machine), and dance classes (classical French ballet and lyrical worship). 

Her open house Saturday focused primarily on advertising her dance classes. Bardowell offers classes on either an individual basis or on a group basis.

Bardowell said that she had a history of dance and was encouraged to start teaching it by members of her homeschool community. She said that she’s been teaching dancing in a less formal setting through the homeschool community, but she was looking forward to teaching out of Absolute Self Defense Academy.

“Fine arts are something that places like schools and community centers are cutting out, cutting music, art, and improv from a lot of programs, and it’s super sad,” said Bardowell. “I just want kids to learn the importance of creativity.”

Bardowell said that dancing is a fun way to stay in shape and it’s a great way to incorporate music, art, and story into one activity.

“It’s also physical fitness,” said Bardowell. “It’s a fun exercise. I do not like exercise. I don’t want to walk into a gym, but I can dance all day long.”

Bardowell says that she plans to offer classes for people of all ages and abilities. She said, depending on the interest, she would love to expand on what she is currently offering. She said learning to dance is something anyone can do. She said that they don’t focus on competing, but rather on the heart and soul of dancing. The lyrical worship music is Christian-based and both classes do have a more conservative dress code, though the dress code is more relaxed and affordable than a typical dance studio.

Jordyn Wheeler (11) has been learning dance from Bardowell for about two years.

“It’s really fun,” said Wheeler. “I really like making the dances.”

Wheeler helps come up with new dance routines with her friends. She said that her favorite type of dance is ballet because it’s the “prettiest”.

She encouraged others to join dance class whether they have experience or talent or not, “You don’t have to be good to start,” said Wheeler.

“You get the discipline of sports and being able to train your body physically with the grace and the expression of dance and music,” said Wheeler’s mother, Katie Wheeler. “It’s just such an all-encompassing thing. I think it’s a great thing for kids and helps develop their skills in a lot of different areas in life that are great for both physical and mental health.”

For more information about getting started with classes at Lasting Memories Fine Arts Studio, contact Bardowell by phone at (919) 332-4476, email at or find them on Facebook at

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