Pointe Dance Academy was established in 1992 on St. Croix and is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization (EIN #66-0499396). Under VI law, the academy has a non-discrimination policy towards the registration of students and election of board members. The student body and Board of Directors reflects the cosmopolitan make-up of the island with a total mix of ethnic, social, economic and religious backgrounds.
The Academy receives an annual grant from the Virgin Islands Council for the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts.
Pointe Dance Academy is a nationally and internationally accredited ballet academy, affiliated with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, Cecchetti USA and The United Kingdom Alliance. As such, the Cecchetti, the Russian Imperial and the Bournonville methods of the ballet are taught. The Co-Founders, Heidi Wright and Sonja Dickerson-Faust have advanced certificates and degrees from the International Society of Teachers of Dance, Cecchetti USA, and the United Kingdom Alliance of Teachers of Dance in ballet. Both hold certification in Pilates mat, allegro and studio from Polestar of Miami and Pilates Elder, Lolita San Miguel.
The academy prepares students for examinations at all levels given by the ISTD/USA Cecchetti Society. The internationally recognized exams, set by the Cecchetti Society, are administered by independent examiners flown in from abroad. Results over the years have been of a consistently high standard, with examiners commenting that the students of the academy were among the best trained in the region, which covers the entire eastern half of the USA.
Pointe Dance Academy students have achieved recognition at the highest levels as professional dancers, choreographers and as students of dance and the Arts. The Co-Directors and Board are committed to maintaining these high standards and ask for the community’s continued support in order to do so.
About the Co-Founders:
Miss Sonja began her ballet lessons at age four with Sara Gransow and the Princeton Regional Ballet Company in New Jersey. She moved on to James Jamieson and Madame Antonova in Wilmington, Delaware; Kathleen Gorham in Melbourne, Australia; Liz Miles at University of Delaware; and Maggie Banks of Reno, Nevada. She then went into “Show Biz” at the MGM Grand – Reno, for 5 years and spent another 5 years with Gregg Thompson Productions in Bermuda, Antigua and the USA. Miss Sonja came to St. Croix in 1989, teaching dance in various schools on the island and choreographing numerous shows for Island Center, CCT, The Good Hope School and Country Day School. She began her studies in 1992 to receive certification as a teacher and practitioner of dance in both the Cecchetti and Russian Imperial methods. She holds a Licentiate degree in the Cecchetti method, L.I.S.T.D. and LCUSA, and a teachers and examiners degree with the United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dance. Since 2000, Miss Sonja has been a certified Pilates instructor and holds certifications in Mat and Props, Studio and Allegro from both Polestar of Miami and Pilates Elder, Lolita San Miguel. Miss Sonja has guest taught nationally and internationally. She continues to teach in local schools and institutions as well as at Pointe Dance Academy, founded by Miss Sonja and her sister Miss Heidi in 1992.
Heidi Wright (nee Dickerson) began her ballet training at age 5 with Madame Antonova (Ballet Russe) and James Jamieson in Wilmington, Delaware. She went on to study with Kathleen Gorham and Madame Boranvansky (original Australian Ballet Company) in Melbourne, Australia. Miss Heidi elected to venture into “Show Biz” and performed in many productions in the USA, Japan, Canada and Bermuda. In 1990, Miss Heidi began her studies and the process of certification as a teacher of ballet in both the Cecchetti and Russian Imperial methods. She holds a Fellowship and an Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma, F.I.S.T.D. and FCUSA, and a teachers and examiners degree with the United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dance. Since 2000, Miss Heidi has been a certified Pilates instructor and holds certifications in Mat and Props, Studio and Allegro from both Polestar of Miami and Pilates Elder, Lolita San Miguel. She has guest taught, lectured and written articles on dance and dance related topics nationally and internationally.
About the Co-Director:
After a professional dance career which featured seasons with the Dallas Ballet, Ballet Metropolitan, Dancentral, and Dallas Summer Musical Theatre, Christian Faust received his Master’s Degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. While department chair, dance professor and choreographer for the prestigious Florida School of the Arts, he also choreographed Florida’s Official State Play Cross and Sword, and served as an appointed member of the Florida Arts Council. He was business manager for the nationally-known Ramon de los Reyes Spanish Dance Theatre, Boston, where he initiated grant applications, interfaced with presentation organizations, and was responsible for daily operations of the Spanish Dance Theatre and the adjunct academy. Mr. Faust served on the Board of Directors for the Boston Dance Alliance, was co-editor of the Newsletter, and served on the board of the Boston Cultural Education Advocacy Committee, sitting on the review and selection committee for consultant hiring. Currently, in addition to teaching classes and performing in the Nutcracker for Pointe Dance Academy, Mr. Faust is an Apple Certified computer technician and HP warranty service representative.
The following pages will enlighten you to our various activities, classes and performances that have involved students who have become professional dancers and dance teachers, as well as those dancing for the pure enjoyment of it. Many graduate students from the academy have been accepted into dance companies and universities of the arts throughout the United States and abroad.
Pointe Dance Academy continues to promote and offer a premier curriculum in classical ballet and Pilates. Although a strong work ethic is paramount for students to succeed, the directors create an atmosphere of compassion and fun. Pointe Dance Academy keeps Virgin Islanders “on their toes”.
Yours in dance,
Miss Sonja and Mr. Faust