Thursday local dancer Isabelle “Izzy” Geiss, 14, will travel to Virginia Beach to compete in the 2018 Nationals.
Unlike many competitors, Izzy brings more to a dance competition than the traditional pointe routine.
When thinking about a dance competition, most think of melodic tones and classical pieces that lend to visions of Swan Lake. However, Izzy is known to bring extra spice to her performances.
“I am not afraid to take risks and want show other girls that ballet is more than tiaras and tutus,” said Izzy. “I love to do the unexpected.”
In 2017, Izzy won the southeast regional competition with a ballet routine to a song by Panic! At the Disco, an American rock band. For the upcoming Nationals, she will perform to “What About Us” by rocker Pink.
The unique take on how rock and classic dance works together has allowed Izzy to make her mark on the dance world. Her accolades include 2018 Miss Regional Extreme Teen for the Southwest Region, first place in the 2017 regional competition for pointe and several other awards.
“I am honored to be chosen [to compete at Nationals] and just want to make my community and studio proud,” said Izzy. “I could not be at this level without the support of my family and Miss Rachel.”
Izzy studies dance at Ballet with Miss Rachel in Fairlawn, where she is one of two dancers who will travel to Nationals.
She will compete with her Pink solo, as well as an improvisation solo and a personal interview for the National Teen Extreme Title. Molly Hurd, also of Ballet with Miss Rachel, will compete with a solo.
“At our studio we are a family that all cheers for each other and surrounding studios,” said Izzy. “I want our positive studio environment to be demonstrated wherever I dance.”
“Words can’t describe how proud [her father and I] are as parents,” gushed Karie Geiss, Izzy’s mother. “If you would have asked me this three years ago [about] nationals I would have laughed and told you it’s great but soccer camp starts next week.”
Its true competitive dance has not always been the center of Izzy’s life. Like most children, Izzy has had many diverse interests, but dance has become her passion and future career aspiration.
Geiss said Ballet with Miss Rachel has been a turning point for Izzy. She is not only a student but helps teach younger students during the summer.
“Seeing her grow at Rachel’s studio in a completely supportive atmosphere…I can honestly say there is no other place her dad and I would rather see her be,” said Geiss. “I just feel like she has found her home on the stage and in the studio with her dance family.”
“One of her favorite parts of competition is coloring outside of the lines,” continued Geiss. “She has taken ballet and put her own rock star spin on it and every step of the way she has stayed true to herself.”
Geiss said that through the weeks of blisters and countless pairs of pointe shoes, Izzy never waivers in her desired goal of succeeding as an unconventional ballerina. Izzy plans to continue her path of trading the traditional tutu for guitar solos as she climbs her way to the top of the competitive dance world.