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B a l l e t  E s p r i t 


The Plumbline - 

a vertically directed line guided by gravity, which suspends the joints in anatomically correct alignment. 


Welcome to a world of formal dance training and performance opportunities within a framework of holistic care and guidance.  Below you will find answers to many of your questions concerning you or your child’s dance education with Ballet Esprit under the direction of Sarah Yvonne. So we strongly urge you to take the time and read this newsletter in full as it contains important information you’ll need to know for the most rewarding experience.



Ballet Esprit Studios  

  • St. Elmo - 1607 W. 43rd St, St Mary’s Parish Hall

  • Lookout Lake - 3408 Elder Mtn Road, Lookout Valley

  • 5 divisions:  Preschool (ages 1.5-4), Elementary (5-6) Enrichment (7+), Intensive (11+), Open Teen/Adult (16+)

  • Registration is open through September!


Upcoming Performances

9/30/23 @ 5pm:  Assemblé - Red Bank City Park on Dayton Blvd

10/20/23 @ 7pm:  Chattanooga Dances - Center For Creative Arts

10/12 - 10/21 Fletcher Bright Grant Exhibit at STOVEWORKS

1/23 - 5/23 Hunter Museum of American Art TBA

11/2 and 11/3 @ 5pm - Auditions and casting for Nutcracker!  Location - Lookout Lake Studio

12/23 @ 4pm and 8pm - Nutcracker!  Magical Christmas Ballet - Memorial Auditorium


Additional dates to remember

  • 9/30 - 10/5  Open House and Observation Week

  • 10/ 6 - 10/15  Fall Break - no regular classes (early bird registration);  Payment Installment due with Costume/Performance Fee

  • 12/17 @ 4pm - ALTER-Nut Fundraiser and Gala - Lookout Lake 


  • Designated Pointe Parents/Teachers per Division;

    • Amanda Morris/Julia Peacock and Sarah Yvonne - Preschool Division  

    • Lia Rhodey/Grace Ragland - Elementary Division

    • Teresa Cole/Grance Ragland and Andrea Solis Tankersley - Enrichment Division

    • Karen Long/David Hedrick, Jessica Kelley and Sarah Yvonne - Intensive Division 

  • ALTER-Nut Fundraiser and Gala - Participant sign up and Volunteer sign up to come

  • Special skills - Work/exchange programs offered for those willing to share time/ talents within the areas of marketing, grant-writing, legal, funding and financials - please contact Sarah Yvonne


  • Dance Pro Account - to enroll, drop into classes, join mailing list

  • Parent Portal - follow 2023/24 fee schedule; 10% late fees added 10 days after due date 

  • Tuition options, make arrangements with ballet office

    • Text: 931.319.1616

    • Email:

    • Do not mail checks - hand them directly to a staff member

    • Late fees after labor day

  • EYES&WINGS Scholarship Fund - assists in raising funds towards tuition for families in need

  • EYES&WINGS Volunteers Signup Genius to come

Nutcracker!Auditions Nov. 2-3 - ages 6 - 18 with at least one year of formal ballet training.  Rehearsals will take place on Saturday mornings/afternoons dependent on casting.  See “Calendar Dates” for audition and performance dates.  Enrolled BE students plan to stay 15 mins after regular class time for prep for auditions


Weekly Class Schedule

Syllabus Information

  • Where did the Syllabus come from?

    • The syllabus used in our dance training is a product of Sarah’s professional dance performance experiences, extensive continued teacher trainings and licensing with Revolutionary Principles of Movement and extensive background teaching classical ballet technique, working with all ages from 1.5 years to the colligate/preprofessional level and beyond. With over twenty-five years of teaching experience under her belt, Sarah’s abilities create many success stories of dancers with training scholarships to summer intensives, Universities and some moving on ​​to professional dance careers, local and abroad; but more importantly than proficient classical ballet technicians, Sarah’s teaching style and syllabus creates dancers who love and enjoy dancing with artistic development and creative freedom.

    • Ballet with a mindful approach; A classical ballet technique teaching style inspired by Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore, India. This individualistic, somatic approach to teaching ballet technique allows experienced dancers to grow and train through the guidance and individualized input of knowledgeable instructors while new students are given the uniquely curated instruction, guidance, and input to become healthy well rounded dancers. Students learn a set series of classical barre and centre combinations designed to increase strength, flexibility, and quality of movement. Each practice is personalized in a comfortable, kind, inclusive, encouraging, and accepting environment. Overtime, the goal is to create a ballet practice that is a personal movement meditation.

 The Woman Behind it All:  Sarah Yvonne

“My joy is found in movement as I’ve danced my entire life, making a career out of ballet and modern dance performance, choreography and teaching. For over twenty five years, I’ve danced professionally beginning with the Alabama Ballet under Wes Chapman. I continually find mind-body conditioning techniques most important to the longevity of my career; a valuable measure for injury prevention leading me to Pilates’ PhysicalMind Institute and Progressing Ballet Technique certifications for cross training. 

My firm belief in body awareness and curiosity contribute to an intelligent dancer, performer, or artist. Curiosity in somatics has led me to breath-work and release techniques as well as a certified yoga practitioner through Yoga Alliance. 

In addition to my ballet career, I am also a graduate of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s College of Business with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Administration, and a Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute certification allowing me to open and direct Ballet Esprit Modern Ballet Theatre, Collective and School of Modern Ballet from ‘16 to now.

With a passion to teach from a young age, from ‘00 - ‘02, I completed my first teacher training from Sue Tolle from Indiana University’s Jordan College at Briarwood Ballet. I have worked with all ages but currently focus on teens, adults, pre-professionals, and professionals. 

I have guest taught locally at CCA, BT, GPS, CCS, Baylor Schools, adjunct at MTSU and currently oversee the Ballet Esprit satellite programs at the Montessori School, St. Mary's Parish Hall in St. Elmo and the Arts Centre at Lookout Lake as well as facilitation of the community children for Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet. 

To further expand my knowledge and love of dance pedagogy, I have recently done a certification in Revolutionary Principles of Movement (RPM) and continue to be mentored under Cheryl Ale and Wes Chapman, ever expanding the integration of a simple somatic/scientific approach to ballet technique.

Even though I have danced the majority of my life, my curiosity and joy for dance continues to evolve and grow through research, Improvisation, Modern Dance Techniques, coaching and performance Repertoire. I’m especially excited for the most recent opportunities as an Adjunct Ballet Professor at Middle Tennessee State University and script-writing for an upcoming WTCI // PBS Educate dance series. 

I’m so fortunate to share my knowledge, understanding and experience with the teachers I’m guiding, my students and a now wide viewing audience.”

​Before founding Ballet Esprit, its Collective, School and Arts Centre, Sarah began formal ballet training in Birmingham, Alabama with Briarwood Ballet. Eager to amplify her training, Sarah attended summer intensive programs with the Houston Ballet, Ballet Magnificat! and American Ballet Theatre. Sarah opted to home school her senior year of high school in order to dance as a Soloist for the Alabama ballet and apprenticed in the company  for two seasons. Her principal roles included Dew Drop and Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker. Soloist roles included Roger Van Flettern’s Tickling the Ivories, Wes Chapman’s Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Coppelia. 

​Since 2000, Sarah has traveled nationally and internationally working as a Guest Artist and Master Teacher, performing, instructing, choreographing, coaching students and training teachers in classical, and contemporary ballet. Upon moving to Chattanooga, Sarah continued to invest and participate in the dance scene continuing to teach and coach as well as setting numerous choreography projects on local schools and companies including: Ballet Tennessee, Chattanooga School of Creative Arts, and Chattanooga Christian School. In 2016, Sarah decided to forge her own path and founded SPOT Athletic Arts Venue in the Brainerd Arts District, as a place dedicated to fostering creative pursuits and overall well being throughout the lifespan, including her Yoga, Pilates, and Progressing Ballet Technique certifications. Throughout recent years, she has enjoyed newfound time spent growing in partnerships with The Hunter Museum and PBS station.

Recently, Sarah acquired her first level certification with Revolutionary Principles of Movement, whilst performing with the collective and spending every free moment with her six glorious children, and cat, Desi.

Ballet Esprit's main studios reside at Lookout Lake, 3408 Elder Mountain Rd., offering students training in classical ballet and modern technique through the science behind the dance. 



An informal interview with Ms. Sarah:

  • Abigail: “Why do you study and teach dance?”

    • Sarah: “It's my life's purpose. I’ve searched the world over and I keep coming back; nothing draws me home like movement does. I want to share that freedom with others; freedom to move healthily in mind, body and spirit, provide a holistic and balanced environment in which to find joy in training and creating.”

  • Abigail: “What drove you to create Ballet Esprit?”

    • Sarah: “I wanted to create a platform for the voice of Every Body; offering this path as an option for a progressing dance community where dancers of any genre can come together, such as a symphony or creative ensemble, as a melting pot of movement. I want to hold a collective space where we as artists can return to our main love of movement; an inclusive and diverse community of dancers for all to move as they feel called to,  rather than feeling a need to conform. The standard we work towards is honesty and wisdom, through movement. Understanding why and how we move like we do.”

  • Abigail: “Do you have a favorite piece of music to dance to?”

    • Sarah: “That changes by the day. It depends on my mood of course. Being that I am also a musician, I’m quite connected to music of all genres, more so if it evokes strong emotion. I like dancing to 90’s rock n’ roll when I need grounding. I love simple piano or strings when I feel pensive and focused. I can always play with my favorite Balanchine inspired free flow to classical pieces. Playing with movement and music is my favorite pastime, being that I love to choreograph as well.”

  • Abigail: “Where do you go for artistic inspiration?”

  • Abigail: “What dance companies do you love watching?”

    • Sarah: “New York City Ballet, Complexions, Martha Graham, Tanztheater Wuppertal, Flock Works, and American Ballet Theatre”

    • Abigail: “Follow up question, who are your favorite dancers to watch?”

      • Sarah: “Whomever is in my current class".


c o n t a c t

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