What started as one mom wanting to spend extra time with her two youngest daughters quickly blossomed into something benefitting many families in our community. Last spring Natalie Tibbitts decided she wanted to share her love of ballet, something she grew up participating in, with her two young daughters-Emma (9) and Abbie (7). Wanting to find a couple of other children to participate she put the word out and soon many other parents sharing her passion signed their daughters up. From this early beginning teaching ballet to her two young daughters, Natalie now heads up the Morgan Valley Ballet Company (MVBC) featuring four different classes and almost 50 young dancers, ages 3 to 11.
Natalie started dancing when she was 6 years old in Star Valley, Wyoming. She was privileged to take ballet from some very top talent. She feels blessed to have had such good dance instructors. She was instructed by Joy Jarman Johnson, lead ballerina for Willam Farr Christensen, founder of Ballet West. She also has studied lyrical, jazz, tap and ballroom dance. She continued taking ballet until her graduation from high school and loved dancing so much that when she went to BYU she majored in Ballroom Dance. Natalie’s advice for other aspiring dancers who want to get started is to simply “turn some music and let them express themselves.” Little girls intrinsically like to dance.
Natalie feels very fortunate to have the background and training she has received. She knows all too well that financial difficulties can exclude many interested young children, so Natalie decided she would like to provide these opportunities and experiences at no cost. Week after week she volunteers her time to make sure these young girls have opportunities to expand their talents and have a creative outlet.
Kristen Rowser, whose daughter Reese is in Natalie’s class, has expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the positive impact the classes are having on all the young dancers. “It’s great to see all the little girls there enjoying it so much and being so excited for their Christmas recital”. Natalie has a way to keep all the dancers focused and involved in learning the technique. The girls love learning to dance and they love their teacher.
Natalie is very grateful for all of the help she has received from parents who have helped put together their upcoming recital. Stage, photography, and costume committees have been organized to plan the event. Many parents have been generous with donations to provide costumes for families unable to pay.
Without all of this help, such an experience wouldn’t have been possible. In a time when scary things are going on in the world it is refreshing to watch a local mom give back to the community so willingly. When the headlines are filled with tragedies, it is revitalizing to know that there is much good in the world. Natalie’s willingness to teach and develop these cute dancers is one of those bright spots.
The Morgan Valley Ballet Company’s first recital was held Saturday, Dec. 22, in the high school auditorium.