By Brittany Llorente
VERO BEACH -- While still in its infancy, the area's only ballet company will take its 'First Steps' Aug. 17, to give locals a taste of what is to come.
Ballet Vero Beach is an up and coming ballet company started by Riverside Chidren's Theatre dance director, Adam Schnell.
"The company is something I've wanted to do because we don't have any professional dance companies in this area. I saw the need and I felt with my background I could really start something special," Mr. Schnell said.
With training from several arts schools around the country, starting from his junior year in high school where he attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts, he has trained to dance.
"It was a private performing arts school," Mr. Schnell said. "Boot camp has nothing on this place. We were training to be ballet dancers and we would wake up and dance early in the morning until almost 10 that night."
Mr. Schnell has worked at ballet studios across the country, earning an apprenticeship out of high school.
Ballet Vero Beach is partnering with Riverside Theatre. For their first benefit 'First Steps', the theatre has 'opened its arms' to help the company.
"They're donating the staff, crew and the space to have the performance," Mr. Schnell said. "I could not ask for more because it was a no-risk way for us to start out. We will give them a donation in return for their generosity. I work with the theatre and everyone there is like family and has been super supportive."
To pull together an all-star performance, Mr. Schnell turned to his friends list and created a cast of dancers from every genre.
"We really are pulling together what Ballet Vero Beach is going to be," Mr. Schnell said.
Featured dancers will be Prometheus Dance, Boston's internationally recognized modern dance company, Natasha Grimm and Matthew Carter, Principal dancers with Ballet Nebraska and Vero Beach's own Camilo A. Rodriguez, a partner in Ballet Vero Beach. The benefit will be his return to the stage, using his own choreography in a performance.
"My whole idea is that 'First Steps' will introduce the local audience to everything that Ballet Vero Beach hopes to be for our future," Mr. Schnell said.
A space and location have not been chosen for the company, Mr. Schnell saying that he doesn't want to commit to building a studio quite yet.
"You don't want to build a house without knowing how many rooms you'll need," he said. "I really think that right now it is important to start out with performances that show what we really are on stage."
First Steps: A Benefit for Ballet Vero Beach will take place Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. at Riverside Theatre, 3250 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach.
Tickets cost $20 to $50 and can be purchased at www.balletverobeach.org or at the theatre's box office.
A 'meet the artists' reception will immediately follow the performance.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.