Vail Valley Academy of Dance announces new artistic director
VAIL — Vail Valley Academy of Dance is excited to announce the addition of Lesley Tunstall as the Academy's new artistic director. Tunstall will be teaching ballet alongside current teachers Anne Powell, Kristin Comerford and Morgan Flahive-Foro.
Vail Valley Academy of Dance is a premier dance academy and has placed students professionally in ballet careers since being founded by Powell in 1989.
With roughly 250 students enrolled in the school ages 3-18, Vail Valley Academy of Dance offers beginning dance, ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop, as well as adult tap and swing classes.
Tunstall began her dance training in England and went on to perform throughout Europe. She received her teacher training in 2008 from the prestigious National Ballet School in Toronto, completing the accelerated two-year program. She also earned her Cecchetti Teaching Associate (Italian method) and until recently taught the teaching method of the Royal Academy of Dance. She owned and directed The Dance Academy of South Carolina for many years and has choreographed the Nutcracker Ballet for several schools.
She is passionate about anatomy and the wellness of the mind and body and relating it to dance, passing on this knowledge to her students.
"I am beyond excited to begin my first year as the artistic director of Vail Valley Academy of Dance and guide students to find their own innate grace and love of dance," Tunstall said.
Anne Powell, founder, owner and director of the Academy, will continue teaching at the school.
"I am super excited about Lesley joining the Academy," Powell said. "I am so confident in her abilities and her vision. Sometimes, having new blood and new perspective makes things better."
Powell says she and Tunstall will be integrating their different backgrounds to deepen the experience for their students and strengthen the program all the way around.
Several students from the school have gone on to study at the year-round programs of ballet schools, colleges with outstanding dance curriculum and the training programs of professional companies.
"What we do is very gratifying," Powell said. "We cherish being a part of children's lives by helping them grow and develop, not only as dancers, but as young men and women."