Westmoreland Youth Ballet was founded to serve the educational needs of young artists throughout Westmoreland County, Pa. Based in the Vaganova Method, WYB offers high quality classical ballet training, from beginners through the pre-professional level. Westmoreland Youth Ballet's mission is to inspire and encourage young dancers to pursue artistic excellence, perform works by both choreographic masters and emerging artists, and to bring the beautiful art of dance to new multi-generational audiences.
Lacey, owner and Aritist Director of WYB, is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her training with Pittsburgh Youth Ballet and the Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh, under the artistic leadership of Steven and Lindsay Piper. She spent summers performing with Joffrey Ballet School, Nashville Ballet, and Point Park University, studying under the tutelage of artists such as Patricia Wilde, Nilas Martins, Paul Vasterling, Ask la Cour, Robert Steele, Elizabeth Corbett and many more. She earned a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography from Mercyhurst University under the direction of Tauna Hunter, and has performed principle and featured roles in works by Rick McCullough, Matthew Prescott, Hannah Baumgarten, Lesley Bories-Scalise, and Solveig Santillano. Other performance credits include George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Walpurgisnacht, and soloist in Raymonda Variations as well as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop Fairy, and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, soloist in Le Corsaire, Flames of Paris and Don Quixote. In addition to performing as a recurring guest artist with Lake Erie Ballet, Lacey has choreographed for main stage productions with Dance Conservatory of Pittsburgh,The Westmoreland Ballet Company, Mercyhurst University, Seton-La Salle High School Theater Department and international venues. Lacey is also trained in pedagogy, kinesiology, anatomy and injury prevention, and carries with her experience instructing in the Vaganova, Balanchine, and Bournonville techniques.
Dance is a way to experience life from every point view imaginable. Dance gives each individual the ability to create and shape their world in a way that expresses who they truly are. I believe that this notion is imperative to the art of teaching dance. My goal as a teacher
is to create a nurturing atmosphere that fosters artistry and promotes individuality in students of all ages. I bring a strong passion for the art of dance to the classes I instruct, while also instilling confidence and teaching many transferrable life skills to my students.
I bring a high level of energy and dedication to all of my classes while also providing a positive environment that allows for success, both in dance and in life, and encourages a lifelong love for the craft. I am a classical ballet dancer primarily trained in the Bournonville, Vaganova, and Balanchine techniques. Although I have a vast knowledge of several other ballet styles, I also have experience in character dance, modern, jazz, and contemporary ballet, along with beginning level tap and musical theater dance. My diverse background allows me to better understand the needs and desires of my students, and help them to fulfill their own individual goals and succeed in each path that they choose.
I believe that strong technique is fundamental to the success of a dancer. I also believe that a strong technical background is key to remaining healthy and injury free. I teach using anatomical language to help my students understand why the body moves the way it does, and how to move in the most efficient way to ensure success in their dancing. I believe that having a kinesthetic understanding of the dancing body also helps students to become aware of their own personal strengths and limitations. This awareness is essential to a student’s progression in their technique, and to avoiding injury, enabling them to have a long and healthy career.
As a teacher, I do not only work to inspire a love of dance in my students, but I also teach them many skills that can be applied in their everyday lives. I encourage my students to be intelligent, confident leaders who are not afraid to take risks or to fail. I motivate them to work hard, to listen and absorb as much knowledge as they can, and to make the most of every opportunity that they are given. Most importantly, I encourage my students to be open to new ideas and creative thoughts, and also to smile often and love always. I believe that having an open heart and an open mind can take a dancer as far as they are willing to go.
Dance is truly a part of me that can never be taken away. Dance holds a special space in my heart that could never be filled in any other way. I am equally devoted to all of my students, no matter their shape, or size, or level of ability. I always give 100 % to each individual, challenging them and tending to their own unique needs as a dancer. In return, I expect my students to be fully present, ready to learn, and to be respectful to both myself and their peers. I aim to create a positive and encouraging learning environment in the studio, as dance is a safe haven for so many of us who are called to the craft. As a dance educator, my goal is to create a safe place for the freedom of individual expression and to pass down a tradition of lifelong love for the art of dance.