North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
' rz -
, ' '
U -. -V :
" - - -i
Students in Milone's pre-bsltet class
. serious performers start at an early age
Former dancer gives young students
support, patience and encouragement
By TODD WELLS
If a success is a woman who makes a living doing what
she loves to do, Barbara Bounds Milone is a success.
In 1952, she founded Bounds Dance Studio and has
since been its receptionist, bookeeper and principal
Dancers preen like wading birds at dusk theirs is a
discipline that demands perfection and, sometimes, fos
ters arrogance. Milone is not like that. She is unassuming
, and exuberant.
She dressed in blue leotards and pink tights, no longer
lithe, but fit and still graceful. Her features are mobile,
her eyes, at times, playful. Awash jn a steady stream of
pre-schoolers in tights and tutus, Milone talked of her art
and of her 29 years in Chapel Hill teaching ballet:
"I love the physical activity," she said. "Ballet is a nice,
clean high. I was always involved in sports as a girl I
liked the physical movement. Ballet is a refinement of
Milone began lessons at age 5 in her aunt's studio in
Seattle, Wash. But at age 15, a crucial age for a dancer,
she was a "ballet drop-out." 1
"It was during the Depression, so there wasn't much
. money ior lessons, sne saia. i mai age, a gin neeus
two classes a day if she is serious about performing."
Outlets for performing dancers were also scarce. "
"There were only two performing companies in the
country then, and of course, Seattle, in those days, had
. nothing," she said.
Thoughts of what might-have-been haunt even the
most accomplished people at times, and Milone is no ex
. - "If I could have stayed with it, I might have been a per
former instead of a teacher," she said. "It can make you
cry sometimes to think of it."
But Milone is more than a dance instructor. She is
mentor and confidante to her students, taking con
siderable pride in their accomplishments.
"I am interested in seeing my students progress, and I
enjoy seeing them 'make it', "she said. "But even if a stu
dent can't be a classical dancer, that shouldn't stop their
interest in ballet."
The list of former Bounds students who have 'made if
is impressive. And starting early is the norm.
Four-year-old Sara is typical of the pre-ballet students
at the studio. She came in, puckish and shy, attached to
her father's finger. Her gravity dissolved to Christmas
delight when Milone showed her the pink tutu that is the
standard garb for the children's classes.
"We teach them fundamental movements and then
dance to nursery rhymes and stories," Milone said. "It's
unstructured and designed to be fun."
At 7Vi, a child can begin classes in classical ballet,
where lessons are more structured and demanding. But
classes at Bounds Studio are not limited to pre-teens.
Sue Anne Harrison, a teaching assistant in French at
UNC, has taken intermediate and advanced classes at the
studio. She talked about Milone.
"She's very relaxed, very professional," Harrison said.
"She demonstrates every exercise at the barre and gives a
lot of encouragement." ,
"I've had other teachers who were condescending and
quite mean," she said. "Milone is supportive and patient
She has a good rapport with her students."
Sara summed it up as she walked out the door. "Dad
dy," she said, "I want to come every day." , ($)
Todd Wells is a contributor to Spotlight.
UNC dance Instructor, member of The (