Gabrielle Palmatier Marshall began her dance studies at the age of three in Syracuse, NY. In her teens, she was accepted into the prestigious Washington School of Ballet and appeared in several Washington Ballet productions.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree Cum Laude with a double major in Psychology and Art from the State University of New York at Albany. Moving to California, she studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and launched her own design line.
Missing her first love, ballet, she was soon invited to join the Media City Ballet and was a frequent featured soloist. She was also a company member with Blankenship Ballet and Ken Walker Dance and was on the dance faculties of the Masterpiece Dance Theatre and the Redondo Beach School of Dance.
Marriage and children led Gabrielle to Rockwall, Texas where she taught ballet and staged productions while on the faculty of the Royalty Dance Academy.
Gabrielle has directed several successful ballet productions featuring her students and has designed and taught ballet intensives in Los Angeles and the Dallas, Texas area.
Gabe and her family are happy to be in Evergreen where her husband was born and raised.
The Evergreen School of Ballet is a subsidiary of THP Music Consultants, LLC.
My Approach to Teaching Ballet
I was trained in the Vaganova style of ballet, perhaps the most widely practiced style of ballet instruction. The steps in Vagonova's syllabus build on a carefully developed progression in which the "basic" or "preparatory" forms are mastered before the dancer moves on to more difficult forms. The syllabus is founded upon the idea that when a dancer is introduced to a step, he or she will have developed the correct strength in foundation in order for their steps and movements to be successful. It is understood that this strength-building requires time and consistent work.
My experience in teaching young dancers, and especially my own daughter Harlee, is that you can teach sound fundamentals but the younger the dancer, the more important it is to break down each technique into very small pieces. You also have to make it fun! I use metaphors and stories to help dancers understand how the movement works. In order to ensure every dancer gets adequate attention, we limit our classes to a maximum of six students.
As a mother of three, I believe that parents need to have a convenient way to track how their dancer is progressing through the curriculum which is why we provide regular updates to parents. For our youngest dancers, a one hour block is bit too long for them to stay concentrated. My art degree and experience in designing arts and crafts projects for my own children have led me to develop a unique program for pre-K dancers combining ballet with arts and crafts and a snack break. The hands-on art/craft project will relate to their ballet lesson, reinforcing movement and vocabulary.