Hi! I’m “Miss Mary” Fernandez (that’s what my students call me.) I created this blog for my students and their parents in order to share more of my obsession with ballet than we had time for in class (I could really get carried away if I didn’t stay on target!)
Now I’d like anyone who has an interest in ballet–dancers, educators, performing arts enthusiasts alike–to be able to benefit from the valuable information I have gained on technique and placement, training for a career (or just for life), tips for students and teachers, introductions to major ballets, and a whole lot more.
My Dance Bio
Mary Fernandez trained at the California Ballet School in the pre-professional division. While a member of the Junior Company there, she was featured as “the Bird” in award-winning choreographer Judith Sharp’s Peter and the Wolf. She performed several years in California Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker and was responsible to understudy the Corps de Ballet roles, including Waltz of the Flowers and Snow Scene. She also performed the Garland Waltz in Sleeping Beauty and was featured in other classical and contemporary ballets with the California Ballet Junior Company under the direction of Maxine Mahon, the Ballet Centre of El Paso under David Duran, and the Las Cruces Chamber Ballet under Michele Self.
Mary taught ballet at Global Rhythms Dance of San Diego when the program, offering ballet and ballroom for homeschoolers, was founded by her mother, Pam Pflieger (retired ballerina), in 2005. She took time off to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of California at San Diego, and now she is pleased to be teaching at Global Rhythms once again. Next, she hopes to get back into shape herself while studying classical ballet pedagogy and developing her interest in choreography.
My Teaching Philosophy
Not unlike many little girls dancing around their living rooms in tutus, my first heartfelt dream was to be a ballerina, like my mother. Although my pre-professional training came to a sudden halt before I could realize this dream, I never stopped loving the art, the discipline and virtuosity, the music and the magical productions of classical ballet.
Teaching my “Ballet 1″ student, Bella.
Like countless other students, dancing did not become my career at that time; however, I can’t say how well just those years of hard work have served me in almost every aspect of my life. It gave me confidence and a “go-getter” attitude that I don’t think I naturally possessed.
I believe that training in ballet is just as valuable to brain and character development as learning a musical instrument, a language, or mathematics. Kids start taking lessons “for fun,” but with encouragement and the stamina to continue there is a huge wealth of benefits to be reaped.
My goal as a teacher is to pass on the discipline, and ultimately the art, of ballet in its serious and uncompromising form, regardless of whether or not my students decide to pursue a career in dance. Whatever they do in the future, I hope that they will have learned what ballet taught me: the possibilities are endless if you not only dream but decide to do something about it.