IBA recently interviewed Anita LeBold, who is featured in its January Student Spotlight. The month the Spotlight focused on the Adult Ballet Program.
IBA: Congratulations, Anita, on being selected for IBA’s Student Spotlight for January 2018. For the first time, the adult ballet instructors selected a student from the Adult Ballet Program. Were you surprised when you found out you’d been chosen?
AL: Surprised and honored.
IBA: Tell us about your dance background.
AL: I began ballet classes at 5 years old in Charlotte NC. I was on pointe at 12 years old and dancing with the Charlotte Regional Ballet Company under the direction of Gay Porter at 14 years old (the youngest dancer accepted to the Company at that time). The CRBC was a civic ballet company that paid its dancers $100 for each performance. It was such a thrill to be paid to dance. I will never forget the experience. The North Carolina School of the Arts took over the company sometime in the 1990’s. The company has morphed into what is now the Charlotte Ballet that was, until recently, under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride.
IBA: How long have you been taking classes at IBA?
AL: I have studied ballet at IBA for 3 years with Liz Blackwell and Alex Tressor.
IBA: What is it that draws you to IBA’s Adult Ballet program?
AL: I cannot say enough about the level of instruction the Adults receive at IBA with Liz and Alex. We are just thrilled to be able to take class with these two knowledgeable, experienced, fun teachers. I know I can speak for the Adult Regulars when I say we are so lucky to have them. Their teaching styles are different but complement the other, which gives us very well- rounded ballet instruction. We are so grateful to Alex for giving up his Saturday mornings to teach us.
IBA: Do you do any other forms of dance or physical activity?
AL: I work out at a local gym three mornings a week beginning at 6:00am doing cardio and strength training.
IBA: Tell us a little about your career and professional background.
AL: I am currently employed with HomeBridge Financial Services as a Mortgage Loan Officer. HomeBridge is based in NJ with offices in 49 states. I currently work in beautiful downtown Greenville. I have worked in the mortgage industry my entire professional career. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Belk School of Business with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
IBA: Wow, it seems you are always on the go. We saw in your bio that you also do a lot of volunteer work in the community—Kiwanis, YMCA, Mortgage Bankers Association, Democratic Party, and Democratic Women. Tell us about your home life and family.
AL: I have been married to Jeff LeBold for over 30 years (but I was only 8 years old when I married - ha-ha). We have two four legged children named Buffy and Jody, who are Manx cats. We currently live in Greer. I was born in Charlotte, graduated from college, and worked in Raleigh for 2 years before Jeff and I moved to Greenville for him to take his first job after graduating from NC State University. Jeff has a degree in Materials Engineering and a minor in Chemistry. He is currently a Senior Quality Engineer in the QA/Reliability Department at Abbot Laboratories in Easley.
IBA: And down time? Do you even have down time? What do you like to do?
AL: I like Oprah recommended fiction and nonfiction involving politics or biographies, working on political campaigns, and watching the top ranked Tarheel Men’s basketball team.
IBA: What advice do you have for other adults who might want to take ballet classes, even if they haven’t danced before?
AL: If it is your passion, just do it. Life is too short not to give it a try. But ballet is very difficult and takes many months and even years of training before you feel any accomplishment. So you must have a passion for it.
IBA: Finally, everyone in the Student Spotlight has to complete this sentence, so I’ll ask you to do it too. “Ballet would be better without ___________________.”
AL: Small jumps. They are excruciatingly painful on my knees.
IBA: Thank you, Anita. Congratulations again, and we hope you’ll continue in IBA’s Adult Ballet Program for many years to come.