I danced either ballet, jazz, tap or finally modern dance from age 12 until age 26. It was my great passion in life to be a professional dancer. I started with ballet lessons at the Raylyn School of Russian Ballet. A former professional ballerina, Lyn Campbell, had just moved to town and opened up a dance studio. She gave me a full scholarship as she knew my mother was poor. She never charged us for 4 years of superb ballet training (she lost her studio space after 4 years).
Here are some programs and newspaper clippings from my time in her school:
This was our second performance, in June of 1978:
Notice I got to be in the “Dance of the Little Swans,” this was the absolute highlight of my ballet performance career, it is a beautifully choreographed dance to a piece in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. It is technically not as difficult as it looks, so the four of us looked very professional. Here is a youtube of the dance if you’ve never seen it, we wore the same costumes as in this video, even including the white feathers in our hair:
After graduating high school at age 17, I moved to California with my best friend, Cathy Manha. I was very poor, and the economy was very bad – no jobs. It was a struggle, but I managed to continue on dancing whenever possible. I found dance classes at the local junior college, and the cost was covered by financial aid. I also soon started taking ballet lessons with Margarete Neumann, another former ballerina of the Russian tradition. Here are some programs and pictures from this era of my dancing.
This was also a Margarete Neumann production performed outdoors in a large gazebo in an Escondido mall, I don’t have the date for this newspaper clipping.
That is me just finishing a tour jete in our dance:
Here are some pictures taken of me by a photographer-in-training at the Palomar Dance Studio and the outdoors, I was about 19 years old:
Copyright 2012 by Melinda Kellogg; All Rights Reserved