Local ballerinas take to stage Mother’s Day weekend
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Three ballerinas from Copperas Cove and Kempner will take the stage this weekend with the Texas Metropolitan Ballet’s spring performance of “Suite Classical Gatherings”.
The Coppelia Suite and Chopiniana Suite make up the performance lineup, followed by Suite Rest by ballet director Randall Marks.
Hailey Lovelace of Kempner was cast of one of the lead roles of the character Swanhilda as she dances as the doll Coppelia in the Coppelia Suite. Another dancer performs as Swanhilda in the solo role. Hailey has studied ballet for nine of her 13 years. When a four-year-old, Hailey had seen Ballet Hawaii perform, and that’s when she first became interested, so her parents enrolled her.
“Once I saw them perform, I wanted to dance, and I never want to stop,” Hailey said. The seventh grader has dreams of becoming a professional dancer. “I’m going to go for it.”
While studying ballet when the family lived in Hawaii, she performed with Ballet Hawaii for the First Family.
Mom, Darlene, said they began homeschooling because of her ballet schedule. Hailey dances six sessions per week, which includes two times on Tuesday and Thursday.
The Lovelaces are an equestrian family, and Darlene said initially she’d enrolled Hailey in ballet so she could have better balance as a rider, but riding didn’t turn out to be her interest.
“It wasn’t something I planned for her. We do it because she loves it, and we love that she loves it. She works very hard. She’s had some obstacles to overcome and she’s worked on them and gotten to where she’s in Ballet IV, she’s in company, she’s doing better and better on pointe.”
To get the roles in this spring performance, all dancers had to audition in class for their roles. “It wasn’t hard; just dance your heart out,” Hailey said. This summer, Hailey will attend the Gelsey Kirkland Pre-Professional Summer Program and TBA's Summer Intesive.
Fellow dancer and Covite Linda Enriquez is a relative latecomer to the world of dance, at the age of 15, having only been dancing for three years. She is in the Ballet-IV level class and performs this weekend as part of the corps de ballet in Coppelia and has performs a solo in Chopiniana.
“We’re military also, and she did a recreational class one time in Germany, and her teacher made me promise that we would put her in a ballet class when we got back to Texas. She said she had some potential, so I promised her,” said Julie Enriquez, Linda’s mother.
“I went kicking and screaming at first,” Linda said of starting ballet classes. “Now, I practically live over there. I get there around 3 or 4, and classes end at nine.”
Julie said she’s seen growth in Linda due to being in dance.
“When we were in San Angelo, we were talking with her director there, and Linda was voicing how it was difficult. And the director said, ‘Yes, it is difficult. But you’re doing hard things, and you can do them.’ Then with a spring show there, she enjoyed the actual performing more than the class. She decided that’s what she wanted to do, and focused on it. I’ve seen her determination, knowing she can do hard things.”
Twelve-year-old Kaylee Boynton of Kempner rounds out the Copperas Cove-area dancers performing this weekend.
Kylee dances in Chopiniana and is a doll and a village girl in the Coppelia Suite, and has been dancing since she was four years old, and has been studying with the TMB since August.
Her mother, Terra, said she first enrolled Kaylee in dance when Kylee saw a performance of The Nutcracker.
“When she was really young, about three or four, her grandpa brought her to see The Nutcracker at Newcomb School of Ballet, which is where she started ballet,” Terra said.
“I just really, really enjoy it,” said Kylee, who practices three times per week along with her homeschool classes. “I just love classical ballet.”
Over the course of the performances, she has three different costume changes, something she said was smooth compared to The Nutcracker.
“She had a smile on her face that looked like it was going to fall off, she was smiling so much,” Terra said of how the performances went for Kylee last weekend.
Both Hailey and Linda are in Ballet IV and are Company members, and Kylee is in Ballet III with the TMB. Linda and Kylee are both enrolled in the school’s upcoming Summer Intensive program.
Randall Marks is the owner of the Texas Metropolitan Ballet, which has been open in Killeen approximately one year at the location of the former Newcomb School of Ballet. He’s extremely pleased with the work that the ballet’s 60 students have put into their spring performances.
“They’ve all worked very, very hard, and we’re trying to get as many people as can to come out to see the shows,” Marks said.
The trio of local ballerinas already took the stage at Temple’s Cultural Activities Center last weekend.
This weekend’s performances will be held at the Killeen Arts & Activities Center, located at 801 N. 4th St. in Killeen.
One performance is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
A special Mother’s Day Suite Tea is set for Sunday at 1 p.m., with a limited number of tickets available for $30, which includes a sitting for tea and treats, followed by admission to the 2 p.m. performance. Tickets for the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon performance only are $12 for ages 18 and up and $8 for under 18.
Tickets can be ordered online at http://tmbspring2017.bpt.me and will be available at the door this weekend.