Dance is lifelong passion for ballet school owner – Baltimore Sun

Allison Barnett is the owner of the Contemporary School of Ballet in Westminster. Barnett started dancing at the age of 3 at the London School of Dance in Garland, Texas. She continued to take lessons at the Hanover School of Ballet in Pennsylvania until she was 18 and went to college.

“I loved being able to play and that was something most people didn’t do. We also had to do a lot of outreach in the community,” Barnett said.

Barnett entered the Starpower dance competition when she was a senior in high school. Because she did so well, Barnett received an invitation to the organization’s summer intensive in Orlando, Florida, and performed at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

At age 12, Barnett auditioned and was selected to perform with the Moscow Ballet at the Majestic Theater in Dallas. Barnett was cast as a mouse and a butterfly in their rendition of “The Nutcracker”.

Barnett’s family moved to Maryland when she was 14.

Barnett attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she studied ballet. College applicants go through an audition application process and present a solo. Barnett received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a major in Ballet in 2009.

When she graduated from college, Barnett performed with the Nashville Ballet during the summer. Shortly after, she took time off from ballet when her daughter was born.

Barnett moved to California and joined the JohnC Art Ballet in Orange. She danced with the company for three years. The company had an abstract way of seeing art and movement. “It opened more creative doors for me,” Barnett said.

Barnett has also done guest performances at the Montage Dance Theater in Orange. It was a pre-professional dance company and many aspiring dancers performed. “It was nice to be able to work with them and see their goals and ambitions.” Barnett said.

In 2015 Barnett decided to move to Hampstead to be closer to his family.

Barnett has taught ballet at several dance schools. When a studio closed, her parents asked Barnett if she would consider opening a studio herself. She opened the Contemporary School of Ballet in 2016.

“I try to do [Contempic School of Ballet] kind studio and it is a community driven studio. I think we have to give back to the community,” Barnett said. “I also believe it’s important to have a solid foundation in training.”

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“Ballet gives students an outlet and a way to express themselves. Sometimes they have trouble expressing themselves in everyday situations. Ballet also offers dancers the opportunity to form lasting friendships,” Barnett said.

Ballet students give back to the community by performing at seniors’ residences, including Golden Crest Assisted Living in Westminster and Lorien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Taneytown. The ballet students also carried out outreach activities at the TownMall in Westminster for the holidays. Barnett taught a Creative Movement Community course each month at Kid’s World for small children.

“We hold our annual recital in June,” Barnett said. “We performed at Carroll Community College and the Carroll County Arts Council Theater. We also host our annual Nutcracker Tea Party every December at the Best Western in Westminster. This is a performance of the second act of “The Nutcracker” while guests enjoy food and drink. »

“We just did our first full ballet called ‘The Adventures of Alice’ which was held at Carroll Community College. I love choreographing and I love throwing all the dancers out and then seeing how they bring the roles to life. kids loved it and keep asking what’s next,” Barnett said.

“I love ballet because I can express myself and be in a place where I can be myself and escape everyday life,” Barnett said.

The studio is located at 100 Railroad Ave. in Westminster, Suite 201. Barnett can be reached at 443-201-9557. The website is The email is [email protected]

Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. His column, An Eye for Art, appears regularly in Life & Times.

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