Jesse Seth Hammel is raising the barre in the Southend. The professional dancer founded Ballet Atlantica at 6200 South Dixie with the aim of creating strong, beautiful, healthy and happy dancers in a fun and safe atmosphere. He does so by leveraging more than two decades of professional performing experience and the wisdom of his Health Science degrees and practice and bringing it to classes in ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance. We decided to see how light Hammel really is on his feet as he responds to a few of our questions:
What was the impetus for starting your own school?
“I started Ballet Atlantica because I had been teaching and directing the ballets for several studios across the Palm Beaches. I wanted to focus my talents upon a single effort. 25 years of experience performing the Ballet Arts also compelled me to promote and teach the next generation of Dancers in our community.
You offer classes for children (as young as 4), teens and adults? What’s the greatest challenge of teaching each?
“The greatest challenge of teaching diverse age groups is meeting their needs at their level. Children tend to require very simple, short and quick combinations. Teens and professional Dancers require more sustained, complex and challenging combinations to prepare them for stage productions. Mature adults require a softer, more wholistic approach. Each class is designed for the specific levels requirements.”
What gets you most excited about your role?
“What excites me about Founding and Directing Ballet Atlantica is the opportunity to continue to expand my own career in the Ballet Arts while committing to excellence in Ballet training and performance for the Dancers of our community.”
What is the biggest misconception about Ballet?
“The biggest misconception about Ballet is that it’s easy, or just a bunch of stretching, or it’s only for girls. Ballet is a 500 year old, international discipline which requires tremendous athletic strength and endurance combined with artistic sophistication and coordination – the highest level of accomplishment in a human body. Dance training also imparts invaluable life skills such as mental focus and concentration, preparation and punctuality, self-awareness and responsibility, goal oriented fulfillment, and team work and social graces.”
What Ballet Atlantic performance has been your favorite?
“My favorite Ballet Atlantica performance has been our “Nutcracker” performance at the Society of the Four Arts. The Dancers were wonderfully charming in their portrayal and the audience was sincerely delighted with us.
How can interested parties check it out?
“Prospective students can watch a class to see if they would enjoy it. Participating in a class is $15 per hour.”
(See class schedule here.)
6200 C South Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33405
In the Park Plaza Building
While class times may vary, office and business hours are:
Monday – Friday from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturday from 7:45 am to 2:00 pm