Unique chance for local dancers

Local dancers will have the chance to learn alongside dance and reality television superstars Sunday.

Dancers and a choreographer from the Abby Lee Dance Company, featured on the Lifetime show “Dance Moms,” will be teaching a dance workshop in the Lafayette Hotel Ballroom.

“I’ll be excited for our kids to see these dancers they have enjoyed so much. They are just lovely dancers,” said Jill Ruff, owner/instructor at Marietta Dance Academy.

The workshop is not just for members of the Marietta Dance Academy, said Ruff, who has contacted dozens of local dance companies to inform them of the opportunity.

“I would love for as many dancers in our local area as possible to attend this,” she said.

Ruff first got an email from the Abby Lee Dance Company just over two weeks ago suggesting a workshop in Marietta. At first, she thought it was a joke, said Ruff.

“I almost deleted it,” she admitted.

To the delight of her students, Ruff replied to the email, and now local dancers will get to meet some of their favorite television personalities, including Nia Fraizer, Kendall Vertes, Ryleigh Vertes and Brandon Pent.

“I’m most excited about seeing the dancers and having an amazing teacher teaching me,” said 13-year-old Emilee Bradley, of Marietta.

Emilee and her sister, 9-year-old Gabrielle, will each be attending one of the workshops offered Sunday.

Emilee will be participating in the class designed for students ages 12 and older, which takes place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and Gabrielle will attend the ages 11 and under session from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“I’ve never been to a workshop before. It’s going to be my first one, and I’m glad that it’s going to be separate from my sister so she doesn’t have to correct me all the time,” said Gabrielle, who hopes to get her picture taken with members of the cast.

Pictures and a question and answer session will be offered, said Ruff.

In addition, all participants will get a T-shirt and will learn choreography featured on the television show.

However, Ruff said she is most excited for the legs and feet class, which will intensely focus on technique.

“Abby Lee is a stickler on technique,” she said.

The company’s namesake, Abby Lee Miller, will not be in attendance, but one of her top choreographers will be, said Ruff.

Miller and several moms on the television show are known for their demanding personalities.

“I love the dancing, the moms not so much,” joked Gabrielle.

Gabrielle is in her first year of competitive dancing. Emilee has been dancing in a competition team for four or five years, said mom Tammi Bradley.

“We’re dance moms too. But we’re dance moms of a different variety,” said Tammi, who will be attending Sunday’s workshops as an observer.

Tickets are still available for observers and students of both age groups, said Ruff.

Tickets are $80 for students and $30 for an observers. Tickets can be purchased through a link on the Marietta Dance Academy website at www.mariettadance.com.