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The Ballet School turns 25

by Troy R, Bennett

Times Record Staff

Morning sun glows in the windows. French phrases tiptoe around the room to lilting piano music. Ten pairs of lithe arms and legs glide through the air. They arc and curl into impossibly beautiful shapes. They leap and flutter —all under the examining gaze of a master.

“Again,” she says

The teacher teaches and the devoted students learn.

That was the scene for two hours Wednesday morning at The Ballet School in Topsham , as it kicked-off its year-long 25th anniversary celebration with former student, and professional ballet dancer, Rebecca Purser to teaching a special class with five young women dancers. Purser is just ending a three-year stint as principal dancer at the Maine State Ballet. She got her start at The Ballet School, studying under former owner Elizabeth Drucker.

“I learned all the important stuff here,” Purser said, after her morning class with five young women. “I started pointe in this studio.”

Purser began dancing when she was 5-years-old and enrolled at The Ballet School when her father was posted to the Brunswick Naval Air Station, just as she entered high school.

Purser pursued dance therapy and psychology in college. She never stopped dancing and eventually made her way to the Maine State Ballet. She was with the company for eight years. Later this week Purses moves to California, where most of her family lives.

“This is my farewell,” she said.

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19 Aug 2010