High-stepping Hannahs: Peter Stark’s Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory just keeps churning out brilliant young ballet dancers named Hannah. Hannahs Beach and Bettes were both spotlighted in CL’s 2011 “20 Under 25” feature, and now there’s Hannah Stanford, no relation to the others except in talent. A New Artist with NGB, Stanford moved to the area to train at the Patel at the age of 12, and went on to win national medals and prestigious scholarships, including stints in 2012 at the School of American Ballet in NYC and London’s Royal Ballet School (RBS), culminating in an invitation to attend full-time in September, 2014.
On her time at RBS: “It was amazing. I trained with some of the greatest teachers in the world.”
And London: “It’s just a beautiful place. There are so many cultures there — it’s just a mix of everything.”
But what about regular school? “I do Florida Virtual School — I do it on breaks. I’m quite ahead in my schoolwork because of my home schooling.”
Gotta dance: “Ever since I was 1, my parents have videtapes of me bouncing my up and down. I used to bop up and down to Veggie Tales. My mom said. ‘OK, I’m putting you in ballet.’”
Smart teacher: “The first teacher I ever had — I was 6 — said, ‘You need to continue this. You have natural talent.’”
The way it makes her feel: “It’s just amazing. I feel like I’m flying. It’s just the whole package — it feels like who I am.”
Her favorite roles: Both are from The Nutcracker: Clara and the Snow Queen, which she played in 2012 and will reprise this Christmas.
Her dream: “I’d love to dance with the company of the Royal, and after that move on to American Ballet Theatre — come back to the Americas.”
And one more thing: “I love training with Peter [Stark]. I’ve known him for like seven years. He’s helped correct all of my little quirks.”