Ann Marie Benedict
Featured Artist February 2015
A quiet softness was apparent in the well thought-out responses Ann Marie Benedict gave when she was questioned about her passion, dance- her Art.
Ann began taking ballet classes when she was seven-years-old and by the time she was a seventh-grader, she had received a scholarship of merit from the American School of Dance. Being a student in the school meant that Ann danced six days a week for five hours a day studying ballet, modern dance and jazz along with choreography, dance annotation and dance history.
Annually, Ann would dance before a review board in order to renew the scholarship to the school. She also had to complete a written exam and before a large review board annually in order to be promoted to a higher level. Later she was a member of The Los Angeles Dance Theater, under the direction of Eugene Loring. Ann became totally immersed in dance. It was her life.
With the same tenacity Ms. Benedict approached her schooling, she now dedicates to her students. One feels like they are listening to a spiritual revelation as they hear Ann Benedict’s answer to the question, “What do you like about teaching dance?”
Ann’s response, “As I teach and prepare students for performances, I work with them at different levels. I bring to their attention the beauty, grace, and expectation of technical proficiency in ballet. I encourage them to explore their emotional depths by feeling the music and expressing this through their body. I find they discover more of who they are and that calm center within. I create a space for the students to share kind and encouraging words with one another before they dance together. I feel this nurtures their spirit and brings a sense of unity to their dance. I’ve witnessed an incredible glow emerging from them and that has added magic to the moment.”
“I love bringing to their awareness the power, ‘life’ and indescribable joy that a person can feel from being inspired and reaching beyond what one thought possible. To see this take form through dance is truly a transcending experience. I have been deeply moved as a teacher and am grateful to so many students who have given me this treasured gift.”
For many years, it has been my pleasure to watch Anne’s dancers perform at the Northern Music and Dance Festival in Colville. One year as I watched the young women dance, I experienced an enlightening revelation. What Anne stated as her desires and goals for her students, materialized on stage! I witnessed the dancers “feel the music and express it through their body.” I could almost reach beyond, and I’m certain that the entire audience could see and feel the “incredible glow emerge.”
Whatever stroke of fortune brought Ann Marie Benedict to our community, we are better for it, our area is richer in the Arts. Her troupe, Northern Ballet and Performing Arts, perform in the Northern Music and Dance Festival, a spectacular event that Ann produces and stages at the Colville High School each year in June. In the last fifteen years, many of Ann’s students have performed in the Nutcracker Ballet in Spokane, several with professional ballet companies. Locally they perform in Chewelah Arts Guild and PACA fundraisers and often on Family Night at Chataqua. Grace was in all her steps, heav’n in her eye,/In every gesture dignity and love. Milton
You can call Ann Marie at 509-937-2150 to find out when and where her classes are held. All of the classes, including the one offered for adult women, promise a healthy work out and a lot of fun.