As a teenager and into his early twenties, Andrew received multiple dance scholarships enabling him to study ballet under the tutelage of Alexander Bennet of the Royal Ballet of London. He danced as a principal dancer for the Scottish American Ballet during the years of (1982-1989). His performance career includes 6 International tours, film, theater, restaurants, clubs and circus. Andrew has taught dance and movement for children (ages 3 and up) and adults over the past 30 years.
Andrew’s life work has included owning and directing his own school of ballet; The Guilfoil Academy of Dance and Ballet Theater Company in Clearwater/St Pete (2002-2012) Florida for 10 years, and included an annual production of the Nutcracker at the Palladium in St Pete for 2-3 years. In addition, Andrew worked in a public charter school Academie Da Vinci as the Director of Dance for grades K-5. From 2006-2009.
His passion and love of the arts has been felt by many, most especially his students, many of which have gone on to become professional dancers in their own right, working for main production companies all across the country.
"Ballet is a lineage passed from teacher to student. Today, it is even more important that the art of classical ballet be passed on to the future generations through the past lineage of the great teachers, dancers and choreographers. I was afforded the opportunity to study, live, train and dance under one of great ballet stars of the Royal Ballet prodegage of Marie Rambert, Alexander Bennett. He was brilliant, fiery, demanding and a stickler for precision, technique, artistry and discipline. At times he seemed ruthless with no allowance for personal interpretation.
"He demanded strict adherence to the same classical ballet tradition of training that he himself had been given.
As a young man from both a broken home and poverty, the idea of dance or ballet instruction seemed nothing more than fantasy. After learning of an audition for possible dance scholarship, I decided to apply. With no understanding of ballet, technique, classes or the expectations, in return for a study scholarship, I accepted a two-week trial scholarship under the “frowning eyes” of Mr. Bennett.
"The dance studio became my second home with daily classes, rehearsals and a grouling schedule of private instruction. I danced, worked, watched and repeated everything I observed. Two weeks became a string of study and performance scholarships, which led to my role as principal dancer of the Scottish American Ballet.
"Alex, showed a kindness to me outside of the studio, like that of a father. Although he never showed favor or kindness in the presence of my fellow dancers he took me under his protective care. He dictated my every step and entrusted his personal thoughts and experiences seeking my counsel and inner wisdom which I eagerly gave. My natural “eye” for alignment, structure and execution of movement afforded me a seat next to Alex during dance auditions and the staging of classical ballet choreography. This, combined with my absolute fascination of his performance career allowed me a deeper understanding of classical ballet as it had been handed to him from Vera Volkova and Marie Rambert.
"Today, I pass on the same knowledge of classical ballet through my teaching. My life-long experience in the world of classical ballet as a student, dancer and teacher has given me the passion of teaching."
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