Barbara Ellis Oral History, 2019
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Interview with Barbara Ellis conducted by Ann Hunt. Barbara is founder, dance teacher, and choreographer for the Barbara Ellis Studio of Dance (BESD) established in 1962 in Colorado Springs. She specializes in dance instruction -- tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and musical theater for children to adults. Barbara is known and respected for her philanthropic work, establishing the dance company “Generation Journey” for seniors 55 & older. She grew up dancing in Pocatello, ID, studying with Mary Kasai, danced professionally with the Sun Valley Jazz Trio, and traveled the country with the Horace Heidt Show. Barbara believes “students don’t just learn dance steps and technique, they learn how to perform and most of all they learn a love of dance.” In its 57th year BESD is family owned and Barbara, at age 83, still teaches a full schedule. Many of her students enter college dance programs, professional dance companies, and perform on Broadway.