Delchamps has passion for dance

Published 3:56 pm Friday, March 5, 2010

Vivian Delchamps says she has not devoted her entire life to ballet and dance since beginning classes at Children’s Dance Foundation at the age of three, but it has become a serious passion.

After four years at the Alabama Dance Academy her teacher, Amanda Willis-Brice, suggested she study with Stevan Grebel.

This summer, Delchamps, a senior at Indian Springs School, will mark seven years of study with Grebel at Grebel Dance Studio.

“Stevan is very well traveled; he knows a lot about history and the world; he speaks seven languages,” Delchamps said.

This has meshed well with her own ambitions to travel and study other forms of dance beyond the classics.

“I have learned so much from Stevan,” Delchamps added.

“I have learned how to better pursue my goals. I have learned to prioritize my life. I know that a willingness to work hard will take you far toward achieving what you really want.”

This summer, Delchamps will travel to Europe as a Student Ambassador with People to People for three weeks, living with a Serbian family. She will study for a third time at the Grebel Ballet Workshop in Novi Sad, Serbia.

The focus there is on perfecting technique and is quite rigorous with classes held in ballet, modern, jazz and partnering.

“Ballet is a universal language, so even though not all the teachers speak English, we are able to study the same things we study now, but in the background of a different culture,” Delchamps said.

Delchamps devotes 10-12 hours weekly to her personal practice and also teaches Creative Movement to 2-4 year-olds and a class in Pre-Ballet to 5-6 year olds at the Grebel Studio.

“I try to give them a taste of how much fun and how much work it is,” she says “I want to inspire in them a love for dancing so they can see the benefit for themselves of becoming better and better.”

Delchamps also played tennis and enjoyed philosophy, theater and film arts classes at Indian Springs.

She performed in school presentations of The Pajama Game, Pippin and an Emo/Goth version of Midsummer Night’s Dream and expanded her acting skills in the drama, The Rimers of Eldritch.

She will be remembered for her role as the Sugar Plum Fairy (alternating with friend and fellow dancer Haley Ingrum) in the 2009 Nutcracker.

Her final performance will be in Grebel‘s production of Cinderella (roles yet to be cast) this May.

This fall, Delchamps will be off to Scripts College in California where she plans to major in English literature.

Laura Brookhart can be reached by e–mail at