This Ballet Teacher Inspires All Of Us

This Ballet Teacher Inspires All Of Us

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 14, 2017

Following up from my last post about my aunt Sheila, which I'm so pleased you all liked, this one is a wonderful reversal of the camera in which we interview her students about HER. As with the last, this is all the video mastery of Quinn Wharton, Sheila's grand nephew and my second cousin. It's a family affair!

As I mentioned in the last post:

I've always believed that homes need good design to support a good life, but the greatest design of all is the design of a life itself. Visiting my aunt Sheila last year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was stunned watching her teach for the first time and shocked to realize that in my whole life of knowing her, I'd never really known this side of her as Ms. Rozann, master ballet teacher. I left from my visit with an indelible image of her, at 88, channeling her entire experience right into her students with a warmth, love and fierceness that was unparalleled in all my years of watching teachers.

The sad event that precipitated this retrospective was the sudden decline and then death last summer of Sheila's life long partner and wife, Eleanor, who was my natural Aunt. It was they, together, who built a life around dance, teaching, and self discovery, always with Sheila at the front of the stage and Eleanor running the back of house. Another video about their partnership is certainly warranted (stay tuned!), but right now it's all about dance and the art of living.



Sheila Rozann - Ballet Faculty

Sheila Rozann's early ballet training was with Bronislava Nijinska, a well-known choreographer from the Diaghileff /Ballet Russe era, and sister of the great dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky.

Ms. Rozann is the founder of the Rozann-Zimmerman Ballet Center (RZBC), which she directed for 35 years in Los Angeles, California. During that time many of her students were accepted into ballet companies across the country and in Europe. Among them were Heather Watts, former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet (NYCB), Ariana Lallone, currently principal dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), Zippora Karz, former soloist with NYCB, Beverly Tucker and Romy Karz, former corps members of NYCB, Edward Farley and Francine Kessler former soloists with Ballet West, and Lisa Cuizon, former corps member with Cleveland Ballet.

After visiting Ms. Rozann's school in Los Angeles, George Balanchine was so impressed that he personally invited her to his Ford Foundation-sponsored teaching seminars held in New York City at his School of American Ballet (SAB). This started a long-standing association between Ms. Rozann and SAB and resulted in dozens of her students being selected for SAB's summer course and year-round program. Sheila Rozann is a highly inspiring teacher with a superb eye for alignment, clarity of movement and expressiveness without affectation. She has the unusual ability to pull from her students a degree of energy they had never realized was possible. Ms. Rozann was on the faculty of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet for the past 13 years. She has been on the teaching staff of the School of Ballet Chicago's Summer Course and Advanced Intensive program since the year 2000. She also teaches master classes in Los Angeles, California and Los Alamos, New Mexico. Via Ballet Chicago

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