'The art of ballet': Couple runs Plano studio with focus on performance

Level III ballet students take part in stretches during class. Before reaching Level IV, students must master technical skills and prove their physical and mental focus, according to the academy's syllabus. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Level III ballet students take part in stretches during class. Before reaching Level IV, students must master technical skills and prove their physical and mental focus, according to the academy's syllabus. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Level III ballet students take part in stretches during class. Before reaching Level IV, students must master technical skills and prove their physical and mental focus, according to the academy's syllabus. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Kirt and Linda Hathaway established their dance academy in Plano in 2001 before moving it to its current location in 2007. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Linda Hathaway works with students in her Level IV ballet class, which focuses on technical clarity and accuracy. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The academy's Level IV ballet students take classes three days a week and female Level IV students work toward transitioning into pointe shoes. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hathaway Academy of Ballet is all about the fundamentals and principles of ballet technique, according to Kirt Hathaway, who runs the studio with his wife, Linda.

“Our model is preparing them in the art of ballet,” Kirt said. “What [students] really get are lessons for a lifetime, in a sense—really following the proper development of the ballet technique as the students grow older.”

This style of teaching makes students more prepared to handle the demands of higher-level ballet, he said.

Hathaway’s offers jazz and modern classes as well, but the training for those classes is unique, Kirt said. This is because Hathaway dance classes follow a ballet technique-based syllabus that increases in difficulty by level, creating a way for each level to work on the same skills regardless of the style of dance, he said.

“We’re not training them for conventions or commercial competitions,” Kirt said. “Our primary emphasis would be what you call performance emphasis—main stage—where you go to the ballet, you go to the theater.”


The academy offers instruction for kids age 3 and older, and those who reach a pre-professional level can graduate into the Collin County Ballet Theatre, Hathaway’s official performing company.

Before reaching the pre-professional level, students are taught how to rehearse and prepare for a performance. This development of their academic skills later translates into an expression of students’ artistic skills, Kirt said.

“They become very passionate about sharing their passion and their love for their art,” Kirt said.

Both Kirt and Linda have a lifetime of experience in classical ballet, having performed with the Dallas Ballet Company and a number of other professional performing companies. Being able to pass on their knowledge is important to them, Linda said.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I started out doing as a little girl,” she said. “[We get to] continue passing along what we were taught.”

Hathaway Academy of Ballet

2865 McDermott Road, Ste.140, Plano

Mon.-Fri.: 3-9 p.m.

Sat.: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sun.: 12 p.m.-3 p.m.

www.hathawayacademyofballet.com
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By Liesbeth Powers

Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano, including education and transportation.


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