Teacher Spotlight | Meet Ariel Levine and Learn Why Dancing Is About Mistakes

It did not take long for our instructor Ariel Levine to realize she was hooked on dancing.  At the age of three, dancing was not her first choice – she wanted to try gymnastics – but after her first recital Ariel announced that she wanted to dance on Broadway.  Today, Ariel enjoys helping other young dancers find their passion for dance.

For years Ariel has spent hours in the studio tackling new styles and perfecting her technique. Ariel was part of the Ballet Theatre of Lancaster and the COBALT (Contemporary Ballet of Lancaster) and even dabbled in Irish Step Dancing. In adulthood the arts remained a common thread in her life as she continued her dance education at Skidmore College, which has a close affiliation with the Martha Graham Company, and while obtaining her MFA in Visual Arts. Her extensive experiences of dance have not only fueled her passion for dance, but she has also been able to use her interdisciplinary approach to teaching.  That said, like all dancers, she has favorites, “when I envision new pieces Improvisation and Contemporary are my go-to styles, but I also love swing dancing,” said Ariel.

Through trying, learning and teaching a variety of styles, Ariel has picked up a couple of lessons that stretch beyond the studio. While dancing at the COBALT, Ariel had the opportunity to develop her improvisation skills with a small group that ultimately culminated in multiple public performances that featured a mix of improvisation and set motifs. During our time working together building our physical languages and rapport with each other, she learned the beauty of the ‘mistake.’ “So much of my life until that point had been all about trying to be ‘perfect’ and avoiding mistakes, but improve taught me how to think creatively without censorship or worrying about what is ‘right,’” said Ariel. Dance was an opportunity for Ariel to challenge herself, take risks,  try new unfamiliar things without fear that it would not be perfect. “Learning to play creatively, to take risks, and recover from mistakes are key elements to functioning as a person.”

Ariel adores her students at Studio 8100, and we love having her as a part of our Studio 8100 team. Out and about, you might see Ariel snowboarding on our beautiful mountains or grabbing a coffee, but no matter where you see her, don’t forget to say hello!

More About Ariel

Where Are You From?

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

What Is Your Dance Background?

I have learned trained and performed in a variety of styles including Ballet, Cecchetti, Contemporary, Modern, Irish Step Dancing, Improv and Ballroom Dance.  The places I have trained and performed include but aren’t limited to, the Ballet Theatre of Lancaster, COBALT (Contemporary Ballet of Lancaster), Franklin and Marshall College, Skidmore College, Terpsichore Dance Group and Arthur Murray.

Fun Fact?

I am a huge geek. My favorite thing to do with my friends is play trivia.

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