Evans Studio of Dancing
64 Victoria Avenue, Hampton, VA

THEN:

NOW:

1954 Anchor, p.173

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I converted the old address
of 64 Victoria to its current
address of 4607 Victoria and shot this image today.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I recall Tom Norris saying that lessons had continued at a home on the southeast corner of Victoria and Armistead. Here is a shot
of that home, but no evidence of a dance school. The only label now says "Little England Inn".

Courtesy of Tom Norris (HHS - '73) of VA - 01/11/05
Thanks, Tom!

Images by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 02/13/05
Oh, WOW!  Thanks, Dave!


(This page created 01/11/05.)


OK, you might not care for the minimalist rendition on this one, but here is my thinking.

The Anchor advertisement seems to indicate that the focus of the studio might be ballet.
Every little girl's dream is to dance Clara in The Nutcracker. 
One of the most recognizable dances from Nutcracker is the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. 
If you were learning and practicing in a dance studio, the accompaniment would likely be a single piano.
That is precisely what this MIDI sounds like.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 01/11/05
Brilliant as always!  Thanks, Dave!


OK, Carol. The Evans' really got to me. I took lessons there forever.
Seriously, from age 7-17. I had taken from Sandy Vossler previous to my family's moving to Hampton.
After I met John Clark ('57 of VA) , my future husband, he had also taken dance there.
Muriel Evans was always on the look out for males so that she had enough to do her annual "Nutcracker" at Christmas.
Anyway, out daughter Dana also studied there from age 5 to 19.
I went back as an adult a couple of times for a year or so at a stretch.
Everyone in my family except my son has been in the "Nutcracker".
We've even got a pet name for it (which I will not repeat) because it takes its toll every year.
Edgerton (who was from Poquoson) and Muriel Shelley (Williamsburg) met
in NYC and opened the studio when they returned to VA.
Their daughters Lisa and Darcy are still teaching there and Muriel is still alive.
That woman knew more about how to survive in life than anyone I've ever met.
In her bird like way, she did only the things that were important and
stressed that if others were bothered by the things she didn't do, they'd do those things themselves.
One time Mr. Evans (whom everyone called Bid) was teaching class and he wanted us to do something dramatic.
He told us that when it was our turn to pirouette or something across the floor,
we needed to stand up in such a way that we had every eye in the audience
on us because they knew we were about to do something important.
He said that posture would improve our dancing.
He certainly was right about thinking that you should treat everything you do as important.
I have found that things just turn out better if I use the "this is important' approach.
Lisa Evans is now the main teacher and the studio is now at the S/E
corner of Armistead and Victoria in the old Hampton Sweet Shop (later Cheney's Photographic Studio).
The ballet company still does an annual "Nutcracker" as well as a fall and spring ballet program and an annual recital.
The studio is truly a Peninsula institution in terms of its meaning and value to the community.
It is really a slice of Americana.

- Kathy Pilgrim Clark ('63) of VA - 01/13/05
Thanks, Kathy!


"Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" midi courtesy of http://www.diskuspublishing.com/midi.html
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 01/11/05
Thanks, Dave!

Ballet Slippers clip art courtesy of http://www.artofballet.com/clip2.html - 01/11/05

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