Cherry Street Dance Studio Has Something for Everyone

YOUNG BALLERINAS: A class of 3-year-old students with hands in the number five position.

Contributing Writer

Cynthia Wolfe, a lovely and talented lady, illuminated my day as I learned about her and her talented family. Her cousin, Sir Frederic Ashton, was a famous ballet dancer whose name is cataloged in encyclopedias. Frederic was an artistic director and choreographer for the Royal Ballet of England in the early 20th century. He and Wolfe’s father, Leslie Ashton, danced for the tremendously famous company Ballets Russe, which was established by Russian impresario, Sergey Diaghilev. Wolfe’s brother, John Ashton, was a principal dancer for the Cincinnati Ballet.

“So, my father and brother encouraged me to be a ballet dancer,” Wolfe says. “I performed for the Tulsa Civic Ballet in the 1960s and for the Dallas Ballet Theater later.”

In the mid 1960s, the owner of the Cherry Street Dance Studios participated in a historical remembrance of Oklahoma ballet with well-known Native American ballerinas Yvonne Cheauteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyn Larkin, and Maria and Marjorie Tallchief.

Another remarkable teacher of the Cherry Street Dance Studios is Chinese ballerina, Bai Lan, who won medals in two international ballet festivals. The Tulsa Ballet brought Lan to dance one of the main roles in the “Bamboo Princess,” and she decided to stay in Tulsa.

“We also have two dancers from the Tulsa Ballet and a veteran teacher from Texas, Pam Cameron,” Cynthia adds.

At her studios, you can learn different ballet methods. For example, Cameron offers the Italian method, cecchetti; Lan will explain the method of Vaganova, named for a famous Russian ballet teacher; and Wolfe is happy to present the style developed by the company Ballets Russe.

Wolfe also has a strong belief that children and athletes can benefit from ballet.

“Ballet teaches the coordination of mind and body movements and improves reaction time,” Cynthia says. “If football players want to run and avoid tackles like Emmitt Smith, they should take ballet classes.”

According to Wolfe, another benefit of ballet is that it teaches children self-discipline, and how to set and reach goals by working hard. It develops complete awareness of your own body and grace, no matter what age you start.

The Cherry Street Dance Studio also offers modern dance, jazz, hip-hop, ballroom, Latin, salsa, swing, flamenco, and tap as well as pilates and yoga.

Wolfe and her staff of 16 will tailor plans for families that allow the entire family to take lessons at the same time.

Each instructor teaches his or her expertise. “I think we have the best teachers in the state,” Wolfe says.

The Cherry Street Dance Studio does various performance venues such as Mayfest. Some students and teachers dance with the Tulsa Ballet, South Tulsa Children’s Ballet and Contemporary Dance Theatre.
“Children learn how to be serious dancers, and that it?s fun and exciting to be on stage,” Cynthia adds.

Updated 11-24-2004

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