Ballet Blog- Chat With Felicia McPhee

Felicia McPhee, guest ballet teacher with Live Oak Dance New Orleans.

Hello, again Live Oak Family!  This week, we sat down with our new, very accomplished instructor, Felicia McPhee.  Felicia takes her knowledge of the human body and its construction and applies it to her practice, and it shows.  Learn more about Felicia’s methodology and inspirations below.

Q: Could you tell us a bit about your training and career and how they’ve influenced you as a teacher?

My teaching method is influenced by many factors. I grew up training in the Russian Vaganova method, then expanded my skills in other techniques during college and as a professional. I’ve danced with many companies and have experienced learning from many teachers, all with different views on what is “correct”. But I think the thing that influences my teaching the most, is the anatomical knowledge I gained in college and applying it to my own dancing. I learned which muscles move, support, and connect with other parts of the body. Understanding alignment and structure helps accomplish almost anything in ballet! I enjoy being a professional dancer while also being a teacher because I can apply the principles I teach to my students to my own dancing and see what really works.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about teaching?

Witnessing the moments when I see something click for a student. They work and work and work and finally accomplish or understand a step or principle.

Q: What interests do you have outside of dance?

My mom taught me how to sew when I was young. I have used that skill to start a dancewear company called Feature Dancewear where I enjoy making leotards and skirts etc. I also love spending time with my husband and dog Leroi. We travel a lot and find fun adventures around the country.

Q: What’s been your favorite moment as an artist?

There are so many moments that I love it’s hard to choose one. Overall, I love performing. My favorite part of being a ballet dancer and artist is sharing my love of this art for the audience. If I can touch them or change them in some way during a performance then I feel like I’ve done my job.

Q: Any quick words of advice to your students?

In the end, you are your best teacher. Don’t always wait for an instructor to correct you specifically. Learn from other’s corrections and apply them to yourself. You get out what you put in. Dance is hard work but it should also be fun and enjoyable for you!

You can check out more of Felicia’s dancing on her YouTube Channel!  Thank you as always for reading!