Elan Academy of Classical Ballet
Alyssa Davenport Pettingill
In 1978 a young dark-haired girl in a borrowed leotard took the barre in an American Legion Hall in Lee, New Hampshire. The instructor was Colleen Robertson, a former professional ballet dancer who was starting Robertson School of Classical Ballet with her husband Larry Robertson, who had just left Boston Ballet as a soloist, to run the ballet program at UNH. The school grew, and years later SeaCoast Ballet Company was born. Alyssa performed for many years, rising through the corps to perform among others, The Snow Queen, Dew Drop Fairy, and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, The Can Can Doll in La Boutique Fantasque, Hermia in A Mid Summer Night's Dream, Carlotta Grisi in Pas de Quatre, The Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Prelude in Les Sylphides as well as orginal neo-classical works like Carmina Burana.
Alyssa received additional training from Richard Rein at Portland Ballet, and spent her summers in intensive training at Boston Ballet, studying under Anna Marie Holmes, Sydney Leonard, Laura Young, and Jimmy Capp, among many others. She graduated high school with a full scholarship and traineeship to the Pennsylvania/Milwaukee Ballet under the direction of Robert Weiss. She trained full time with Basil Thompson of The Royal Ballet, Patricia Brown of Joffrey Ballet, and Taras Kalba of Milwaukee Ballet, and performed many corps de ballet roles with The Pennsylvania/Milwaukee Ballet.
An injury and the dissolve of the Pennsylvania/Milwaukee Ballet led to a time of transition where Alyssa began performing in musicals, and was inspired to aquire her BA in Theatre and Dance, rounding out her dance experience studying jazz and tap under the tutelage of Gay Nardone, and performed with both the UNH Ballet and Jazz Companies.Trained in all aspects of live theatre, from acting to design, and including choreography and theatre education,Alyssa was awarded the Gary O'Neill "Triple Threat" scholarship for musical theatre.
In years to come Alyssa found herself increasing inspired by her work as an instructor and choreographer. She started the ballet program for Gotta Dance in Massachusetts, and taught ballet technique, pointe, jazz , and tap for Centerstage Dance Academy in Massachusetts. Under the guidance of Kathy Coughlin, CSDA owner and chairperson of Dance Teachers Club of Boston, Alyssa began to streamline and hone her pedagogy and class structure, combining elements of her own training with the DTCB format. In the past decade she has come to formulate her own syllabus based on the Cecchetti Method, and has been successfully training dancers of all ages in the art of classical ballet. Alyssa moved to Vermont in 2009, and taught in Williston, Colchester, and Richmond, developing the ballet program for The Movement Center. Alyssa is now realzing her adult dream of starting her own academy and affiliated company, Elan Ballet Theatre, where she intends to offer highly individualized, quality training to dedicated dancers of all ages, and offer opportunities for dancers to develop their artistry through performance.