By Lanier Laney
It’s kind of a miracle, really, when you think about it, that a town as small a Beaufort, located far off the beaten path here in “the back of beyond” as I like to say, has a world class training school for young dancers. The young, energetic teacher, Deanna Kraszewski, is directly from Broadway where she was assistant to Rebecca Darling of the acclaimed Pilobus dance company and where she also was assistant to renowned Broadway director and Producer Donald Birely.
Deanna founded the Low Country School of Performing Arts just three years ago and has already had graduates go on to dance with the Atlanta Ballet, USC Conservatory, Governors School and Joffrey Ballet, to name just a few. The technical school offers classical training in ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop, creative movement, barre and pilates, with classes for ages 2 1/2 to adult, beginner through professional level training.
Says Laura Eggers, “Not only do Deanna and her staff produce top notch productions, they produce top notch dancers too. She’s created an atmosphere that inspires and challenges and is a place that dancers love to go.”
Ty and Marc Reichel agree, saying, “For our daughter, Keating, Low Country School of Performing Arts has opened up her world. Under Deanna’s wing, she has grown from being a good dancer to a gifted dancer, from possessing a love for dance to a passion for it, and the studio has transformed from being an after-school activity to a second home. For our younger girl, Ambrose, I watch the poise and care that she already puts into her every move at only 6 years of age. She knows the lingo and moves with grace. She, too, is developing into quite the young dancer as well. It is with absolute pride and much enjoyment that we take our girls daily to the school and watch any and every opportunity we can — Deanna has given our girls an incredible gift, and we thank her implicitly.”
In August of last year, the school moved to a new larger facility at 206 Carteret Street, next to Wren. The spacious 2,500-sq-foot space has two studios with sprung Marley dance floors, 10 foot tall mirrors, a state-of-the-art sound system, and enough barres to accommodate large classes and workshops.
This year, the dance school will be participating in the Youth American Grande Prix — an elite worldwide ballet competition in Atlanta in March. These dancers will be seen by professional companies and schools from around the world and will be given the opportunity to compete for scholarships to such prestigious schools such as the School of American Ballet and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.
The school has a wonderful fundraising event on Friday, Oct. 26 from 7-10 p.m. at the studio called “A Night of Decadence & Dancing.” All proceeds from will go to scholarship programs and educational workshops and classes in an effort to provide better opportunities for young students looking to pursue a career in dance as well as an appreciation of the art form.
Says Deanna, “Whether a student’s needs are class basics such as ballet slippers or financial support in order to attend Low Country School of Performing Arts, we hope to be able to provide a variety of scholarships to those who would otherwise not be able to attend and participate in our program. Everyone deserves a chance and with your help and the success of our upcoming event, we will hopefully be able to fulfill the dreams of many talented aspiring young dancers we have here in Beaufort.” Tickets are $50 per person/$90 per couple. Call 843-433-3698.
Says Katie Huebel, of WED, who has donated her design services for the fundraising event, “My daughter found her ‘love of dance’ at Low Country School of Performing Arts. Deanna brings an immense knowledge base to her craft as well as a unique style to her choreography. She inspires her students around her to become better dancers and to push themselves to new heights.”
For more information or to sign up for classes, contact:
Low Country School of Performing Arts
206 Carteret Street
Beaufort, SC, 29902