Beckley dance school continues to push for creative arts

Ballet Boot Camp
Ballet Boot Camp(WVVA)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 2:19 PM EDT
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - This weekend’s Ballet Boot Camp at the Beckley Dance Theatre School is more than three days of dance instruction for youth. It’s the culmination of nearly 60 years of pushing toward expanding creative arts in Beckley.

Jerry Rose sits- or, rather, dances- in the middle of this circle.

“We can do anything in Beckley that can be done in Chicago, or L.A. or Toronto...As long as we have quality instruction, we are on a par with anyone, anywhere in the world,” said Rose, the school’s artistic director.

Rose is no stranger to Raleigh County. For years, he has used Beckley Dance Theatre School to instill a passion in young dancers. Over the decades, he and his efforts have been recognized by the City of Beckley and the State of West Virginia.

And now, the road on which his school sits might be named in his honor. That decision will be made by Beckley City Council on July 12.

“Jerry and his wife, Sherry, have just been totally magnificent in the world of arts, particularly dance,” said Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold. “We are just crazy about Jerry.”

Rose and his dancers have traveled around the world to perform, but, when the curtain closes, he is right back in Beckley doing what he loves most.

And that is teaching.

“Students, since we’ve been here so long, so many of them have made careers that have taken them to places like Taiwan, Sweden, Monte Carlo, of course, New York and Los Angeles. They are all working everywhere, and they came from Beckley, West Virginia. We want to facilitate children, who grow into adults, who do become professional dancers from this school. We want to carry it all over the country and the world.”

This is the sixth year Beckley Dance Theatre School has offered Ballet Boot Camp. Dancers as young as seven will be refining their skills this weekend in pointe, tap, modern dance and musical theatre. They will work with local instructors, as well as various guest artists.

Rose says six states are being represented this year.

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