Growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas wasn’t exactly the most thrilling of experiences. I spent the majority of my teens plotting my escape, and my present day visits are fewer and further in between than either of my parents would like. It’s a sleepy spot in a forest-covered state caught somewhere between a town and a city. There are no professional sports teams (in the entire state), no opera (they barely have a ballet company) the restaurants all seem to close by 9pm (midnight on the weekends if you’re lucky), and there’s not even a real Lululemon (it’s a “pop up” store or something like that). However, when a former schoolmate asked me to teach at her studio’s summer intensive, I found that I couldn’t say no. So I spent the beginning of this week in Little Rock.
Rock City Dance Center is nestled in a shopping center in West Little Rock next to the only Whole Foods in the state (score!). Four studios (one underground) painted in bright colors, with new marley flooring in 3 of them (one remains wood for the tappers), an awesome health vending machine, a vibrant faculty, and enthusiastic students! The class slots were too short for a full master class, so I taught ballet variations (Silver Fairy & Aurora’s Variation from Act II of “Sleeping Beauty”) on two days and yoga for dancers on one. The mentality was very similar to my current studio and I felt right at home with the friendly staff and dancers.
I was also able to catch up with another former schoolmate who started Little Rock Urban Farming which grows, processes, markets and distributes produce in the Little Rock community. They do tons of community outreach, education, and training as well as dining events. It was so exciting to see the farm and how much it’s grown (no pun intended) over the past few years! Here are some photos I took while visiting the farm in between yoga classes on Tuesday.
Little Rock is growing and progressing in leaps and bounds, and it’s a joy to see the success of so many friends!