Schrader Ballet holds showcase

PARKERSBURG – Students at the School of the Schrader Youth Ballet Company put on their end-term performance Saturday.

This was the 49th year of the annual Spring Performance, showcasing students ranging from as young as 3 to high school seniors. The event was held Saturday evening in Parkersburg South High School’s auditorium.

Erin Augenstein, executive director of the Schrader Youth Ballet Company, said the company is a non-profit organization which specializes in teaching classic ballet.

“These are students who study ballet all year long, and this is a chance for them to show off some of what they have learned,” she said. “We don’t participate in competitions. We study as a school throughout the year and we hold performances around the holidays and other times of the year.”

The Spring Performance, which wraps up the school term, also gives the students a chance to show off in the areas of musical theater and jazz.

“We try to bring a little of Broadway to the stage,” Augenstein said.

This year’s performance featured a sampling of classical ballet technique as well as “La Boutique Fantasque, ” a story ballet. The performance wrapped up with musical theatre selections from the musicals “Pippin” and “Matilda the Musical.”

Two graduating seniors were honored at this year’s performance, Rachel Teter and Allie Price.

Price and Teter, both 17 and both graduating seniors at Parkersburg South High School, said this Spring Performance was especially important because it was their last with the Schrader School.

The spring performance “shows a lot of our different talents, not just ballet,” Teter said.

“I’m dreading the fact that it’s our last performance,” Price said, “but I’m excited for the chance to move on.”

Price, who has been dancing with Schrader Ballet for 13 years, said she plans to attend Marshal University in the fall, majoring in radiology and minoring in dance.

“I’d like to have my own dance studio someday,” she said.

Teter has been studying dance for five years, and said she hopes to minor in dance this fall when she attends West Virginia University to major in journalism.

Price and Teter said ultimately they were thankful for the guidance of Velma Schrader, owner and operator of Schrader Ballet.

“Mrs. Schrader has kept us going,” Teter said. “She’s kept art and dance alive in the Mid-Ohio Valley.”

“She’s the reason we are here,” Price said. “She is the reason we are the dancers we are today.”