Arts and Entertainment Editor
Wes Chapman, now a freelance ballet teacher and coach from Union Springs, comes to Troy this week to teach students about Revolutionary Principles of Movement.
Chapman danced with the New York City Ballet for 13 years with Mikhail Baryshnikov, who is considered one of the best ballet dancers in history.
He also danced with the American Ballet Theatre during his career.
He danced until he was 31 years old and retired into directing at the Alabama Ballet, and then eventually moved into directing at the American Ballet Theatre.
Chapman said he started teaching by necessity, and through time he saw that he had strength in it.
“I became more and more empowered through RPM,” Chapman said.When he was 9, his mother and grandmother took him to a ballet class, and he said he instantly felt that he belonged there.
“I never looked back,” Chapman said. “It was sort of who I was. It all made sense to me when I walked into that classroom.”
Since then, Chapman has traveled all over the world to perform, to places such as San Francisco, the Paris Opera House, the Royal Danish Opera House and many more.
“I was happy dancing, and it didn’t seem to matter too much where I was,” said Chapman.
Chapman sees Troy University’s dance program as a place that is improving with great momentum.
“With these kinds of things, it takes time for everyone know this is here,” Chapman said. “It’s a great place to be.”
He also praises the dancers as receptive and ready to learn.
“It inspires me as a teacher when people are willing to learn,” said Chapman. “It’s fun to me.”
Chapman puts a lot into his teaching when he teaches, and he said he usually leaves classes exhausted.
“You get as much as you put into things,” said Chapman. “I hope they (the students) feel that I put a lot into it.”