Catching Up With Meredith Loy, Thea Scholarship Winner Turned Ballet Arkansas Dancer
This week, Ballet Arkansas will present two evenings of performances highlighting the choreographic abilities of the company’s dancers in a show titled Debut being held at the Argenta Community Theater. One of the participating dancers/choreographers is Meredith Loy, who is a 2012 Thea Foundation Performing Arts Scholarship recipient. Meredith is in her 5th season with Ballet Arkansas, and we sent a few questions her way to touch base about her community involvement and what it’s like to step into the role of choreographer.
What do you define as being the most rewarding part of interacting with local schools as a Ballet Arkansas dancer? Tell us about your school visits and other community involvement.
Ballet has heavily influenced my life and has shaped me into who I am today!
I have lived in Arkansas almost all my life, and it’s such an honor to have the opportunity to give back and to share my passion with students who don’t have the ability to experience ballet outside of school. It offers an outlet where students can express and learn new skills through dance and movement and gain self-confidence. It has been so rewarding to see students challenge themselves and to develop an appreciation for ballet. I’m grateful to be a part of Ballet Arkansas who sees the importance of enhancing resources for students to further their dance education.
What do you wish Arkansas youth knew about professional dance opportunities?
I wish Arkansas’s youth knew how many professional opportunities were right at their fingertips. They can experience professional dance along with other art forms right here in central Arkansas. Ballet Arkansas offers opportunities for students to be involved in professional productions multiple times throughout the year and are a great way to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a professional dancer.
In Ballet Arkansas’s Debut, you’re taking on the role of choreographer. How do you feel about this transition from performance?
At first, I was a little nervous to be a “choreographer.” I wasn’t sure if I would be creative or confident enough to expose my thoughts and ideas! It’s a lot easier to be told what to do than to tell others what to do, but it has been so fun and so rewarding to push myself out of my comfort zone. It has made me appreciate other choreographers’ work even more, and has encouraged me to try it again!
About Ballet Arkansas’s Debut
Debut highlights the choreographic abilities of the professional dancers of Ballet Arkansas. Company dancers who possess an exceptional talent for choreography will create an innovative contemporary world-premiere work. Attendees are invited to compare and contrast the works, and participate in a stimulating discussion.
November 8th and 9th (Friday-Saturday)
Argenta Community Theater
An individual ticket is $25 and can be purchased here.
In addition, Thea Foundation will host Debut After Dark this Friday. All patrons who attend the Friday evening performance of Debut are invited to this special after-party. Meet the choreographers, learn more about Allegro (Ballet Arkansas’s young professionals group), and enjoy hors d'oeuvres provided by Trio's Restaurant with beverages provided by ROGUE Architecture.
About Meredith Loy
Meredith Loy, a native of Little Rock, received her early dance training under the direction of Rebecca Miller Stalcup, Melinda Tobian and Mark Bush at the Arkansas Academy of Dance and Arkansas Festival Ballet. She attended North Little Rock High School, where she was heavily involved in the dance program under Christen Burke Pitts and was awarded a performing arts scholarship from Thea Foundation in 2012.
Meredith is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she received her BFA in ballet performance from the School of Dance department. Her most notable roles during her time at the University of Oklahoma include; Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker, Raymonda Pas de Dix principal couple, Le Corsaire Pas de Deux, Swan Lake Pas de Trois and Haydn’s The Seasons Austria tour choreographed by Mary Margaret Holt and Ilya Kozadayev. Meredith is in her 5th season with Ballet Arkansas. Her most recent roles include; Excerpts from Agnes de Mille’s “The Other” staged by Diana Gonzalez, Christopher Wheeldon’s “the American” staged by Michele Gifford, Mina in Michael Fothergill’s “Dracula”, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop Fairy in “The Nutcracker”. Ma Cong’s “Calling” staged by Alexandra Bergman, and George Balanchine’s “Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux” staged by Michele Gifford.
Note: For those interested in Thea's scholarship opportunities, the six competitions awarding 36 scholarships begin in late February 2020. All qualifying Arkansas seniors should review each competition's details closely prior to registering to compete.