It was a ballet class like no other. Yes, there were little girls minding their form, keeping their backs straight and their chins up. But at the helm of the class, who had the girls marching, skipping, and running round and round the studio was Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja Elizalde.
As she urged the girls to sit like a princess and fly like Superman, one cannot help but observe Lisa’s infectious enthusiasm. She would say an encouraging word to one student, as she kindly corrects the form of another. Her happy spirit is contagious. And it was surprising to see that the prima ballerina, the same woman who became the first foreign soloist to join the Kirov Ballet, is actually quite funny!
The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila in Quezon City
The little ballerinas are at the newly opened Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila at Fisher Mall in Quezon City. Located at the mall’s fourth floor, it brings the signature discipline and technique that Ballet Manila has come to be known for closer to aspiring ballerinas residing north of Metro Manila.
“Our school is known for producing some of the most successful classical dancers in the country,” says Lisa, who is the school director.
“For that, most people who wish to learn ballet would want to learn it from us. We have students who live in Quezon City, Marikina, and other nearby areas who travel all the way to Pasay every day just to rehearse and learn. We’ve always wanted to make it easier for them, which is why we are so thankful for this opportunity to finally open a school in this area.”
Bringing the Vaganova Method Up North
The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila is the only ballet school in the Philippines with direct links to the Russian Ballet Academy of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is known for teaching the rigorous Vaganova Academy method of dancing, which is widely accepted as the highest standard of style when it comes to classical ballet.
Its faculty is made up of accomplished Vaganova style-trained classical dancers including Jonathan Janolo, Sofia Sangco-Peralta, Gerardo Francisco, Eileen Lopez, Czarina Villegas, and Co-Director Osias Barroso.
The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila offers the following courses:
- Creative Movement for Toddlers (for ages 2-3)
- Baby Ballerinas (for ages 3-5)
- Twinkle Toes (for ages 5-6)
- Level 1B-Beginner and Level 1A-Advanced (for ages 6-9)
- Level 2B-Beginner and Level 2B-Advanced (for 10-12 years old)
- Level 3B-Intermediate (for boys and girls aged 12-16 with previous ballet training and intermediate pointe work)
- Level 3-A Advanced (for 14 years old and above)
- Adult Ballet for Fitness class
For more details, go to www.balletmanila.com.ph, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 400-0292 and 525-5967.