Studio Highlights


Mme Ichijo gets an Art award from the Montgomery County Executive!

Miss Fran received the "Lifetime Impact Award", based on her work in ballet in the community...see the website here. 

        See the YouTube video of the whole awards ceremony.  Mme Ichijo is at the end. Find it here:
Congratulations Miss Fran!!


Check out the great review by Joel Markowitz of DCMetroArts of our recent "A Christmas Carol" on November 28th,2015, in Rockville:

Way to go HGBA students who participated!

Highlights from 2017:  Once again, HGBA students demonstrated aplomb and determination during the Vaganova Exams in February.  Scholarships were awarded in the fall to the top 3 places.  Students articipated in YAGP Pittsburgh once again, and did a great job under pressue and learned alot.  Senior Kimi Maier helped the kids to prepare and was there backstage.  The spring show, "Generation Variations", was at a fantastic state-of-the-art facility , in Olney , MD, the theater at Our Lady of Good Counsel.  Lighting, sound, and stage all top-notch.  The wonderful company , Bowen McCauley Dance joined us with a premier, "La Tramontaine", to much acclaim.  Our own graduate, Claire Jones, danced as member of BMD.  Also, the distinguished professor from Towson University , and former Principal dancer of the Washington Ballet, Runqiao Du, created a moving piece of contemporary Ballet to the music of Led Zeppelin, "Stairway to Heaven", using Bubby Roland on loan from MYB, Claire Jones and Dustin Kimball of BMD, and the lady in white was Maddie Diurmowicz of HGBA.  Several older students rounded out the corp.

Seniors Ellie Creedon and Kimi Maier, danced the same piece they had performed as 9 year olds in this reprisal of "Generation Variations", first shown by HGBA in 2008, with footage simultaneously showing them on the cyclorama at 9!  They remembered the piece and it looked cool!  Thanks to stage manager/lighting deigner, Jenn O'Brien for bringing her skills to the stage!

We had 7 weeks once again of Summer Ballet from the littlest ones and ending with our 2 week Ballet  Intensive taught by Alan Obuzor and Erin Du .  We raised money for Madison House Autism Foundation during our show at the Kreeger Theater, on Aug 12th, where people donated any amount to enter.  It was a great show with classical solos, contemporary solos and fabulous group pieces.  Mme ichijo was the stage manager!

We alwasy end the year with "A Christmas Carol" and it was once again well-attended and becoming the tradition of our tudetns as well as the faithful audience.  Several talented graduates come to attend, such as Suzanne Creedon and Ellie Creedon!

Highlights from 2016: HGBA studetns had their Vaganova exams in February and worked hard and well, learning alot. 3 students went to YAGP in Utah, and danced very well there: John Foster, Lilia Gestson, and Brittany Wright.  It was alot of effort and time to prepare and get all the way out to Utah, but the kids and parents and staff learned alot.  Ballet West was a great host. We decide to participate in the Easton Ballet competition in April in Easton, PA, for the younger ones.  This was close by driving-wise and fun and Ashley Zhang received a 3rd place and a rehearsal tutu as an award!

We performed "Aladdin" for the spring show, a new ballet by Mme Ichijo to music by the fabulous Khachaturian, based on the Arabian Night's tale. See HGCBT website for review.  The students and guest dancers and genies were superlative! 

We had 7 weeks of summer camps and intensives, ending with our own HGBA Intensive, raising money for Madison House Autism Foundation.  We performed at the Kreeger in Rockville, the kids carried themselves with poise and grace.  In the fall, HGCBT  had our annual "A Christmas Carol" at the F Scott Fitzgerald Theater, to great acclaim.  Good reviews and good dancing, and super kids and parents all pitching in!  Thanks to Beth and Jeff Jones, this moving show is possible to pull off in a professional, smooth manner.

Lilia Gestson went on in the fall to the pre-professional program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.  Good luck, Lilia!

Brittany Wright chose to pursue more intensive Contemproary Dance at City Dance in Rockville.

John Foster and Ellie Creedon are pursuing careers in Musical Theater so we will look for their names in lights on Broadway for sure!!

Highlights from 2015: We did YAGP in Pittsburgh in February, and the kids danced fabulously. Anna Porch, Ashley Zhang, Aubrey Dorman in the pre-competitive division. In the Junior Division, there was John Foster, Lizzie Phelps, and Charlotte Vogel. In the Senior Division, Ellie Creedon, Brittany Wright, Kimi Maier and Olivia Romano. The girls and John did a group piece choreographed by Suzanne Creedon, that they performed very well. Suzanne also choreographed interesting contemporary solos for the senior girls.

John Foster placed 3rd in the Men's Junior Division in Classical!!

Our Spring Show on May 16th, was Noah's Ark, entitled "Tutu by Two" and you can see details and a newspaper review on teh HGCBT website (task bar above). The show included Act II "Shades" scene of La Bayadere (as the iconic Rainbow), which was taxing on the dancers, while at the same time very educational for them , and stunning to see.

Summer saw 6 weeks of camps and then a fabulous 10 day Intensive with teachers Tony Wilson and Alan Obuzor. We performed at the black box Theater of ADI in Rockville on Aug 19th, as the culmination of the Intensive and the choreographic works of the two guest choreographers. The kids also danced several classical solos and contemporary pieces from YAGP to round out the show. The audience seemed to really enjoy it, and we raised $680 for Madison Fields, a farm project for equine therapy, a division of Madison House Autism Foundation.  Photos will be coming!



Youth America Grand Prix in Pittsburgh, 2014

This past weekend, 10 students from HGBA participated in the selection regionals of the largest international student competition in the world, Youth America Grand Prix. There in Pittsburgh, the girls danced so well that they were selected to be in the top 12 of the ensemble category dancing a group piece choreographed by our own 16-year-old Suzanne Creedon, entitled "Alzheimers's" to honor her "Nana", and her family struggle. As well, Danielle Creedon and John Foster, performing a classical Pas de Deux were recognized as a "group" in this same top 12, outdoing some college students who also performed two classical Pas de deux.  In essence, they were the first among the three classical pas de deux, admirable for a 12 and 14 year old!

All of the students danced very well, including our first pre-competitor (which means ages 9 - 11), Lizzie Phelps.

The dancers were: Carly Johnson,Suzanne Creedon, Veronica Contreras, Renee Terragno, Hannah Wills, Danielle Creedon, Kimora Maier, Olivia Romano, John Foster, and Lizzie Phelps.  Great job, everyone, including the very supportive parents!!


HGBA students auditon at the Kennedy Center

Several HGBA students auditioned September 15th for a rigorous Master Class series at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Ballet students must be 14 years old and in High School to audition. Hannah Wills and Suzanne Creedon were both accepted into the program, with Suzanne as an alternate. These wonderfully enriching classes will be taught by ballet masters or principal dancers from several prestigious touring ballet companies while they perform at the Kennedy Center. It is a great honor and wonderful opportunity for both of these accomplished Hope Garden students, who were some of the youngest to audition.

Dancing on the Float on Poolesville Day

HGBA again danced in the parade, on the float lent by Bill Lermont of Bobbinawarra Farm in Bealsville. About 20 younger students in bright costumes sat and waved to the crowd as they floated by, while older students Kimora, Olivia, Ellen, Ellie, and Megan performed elaborate improvisation of stretches and jumps. It was quite a sight, and fun for all.  THanks for a great day!

Hope Garden's Danielle Creedon takes third!

At the recent Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals in Philadelphia, 2012, Miss Danielle Creedon took third place among about 100 Juniors, ages 12 - 14, in the contemporary dance Division. Youth America Grand Prix is the largest International Student Ballet Competition in the world awarding over $250,000 in scholarship money to top ballet students. Also in the top 18, were Veronica Contreras (age 14), Suzanne Creedon (14), Hannah Wills (13), Kimora Maier (12), and Camilla Feeley (12). This is a remarkable accomplishment for these young dancers. They worked hard over the past few months and through the winter break. Congratulations to Mme Ichijo and Hope Garden Ballet Academy!

New Studios

Located near the Subway sandwich shop in Poolesville, our brand new studios are large, with premier quality sprung floors. The mirrors are 50 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall in one studio, and 15' X 8.5' in the other. There is a pleasant and comfortable waiting area, and a flat screen TV to view past videos of our shows, and soon CNN and Fox News.  We had a warm open house on September 9th, where the many helpers of this huge project were thanked, and even a town commissioner attended! Please come by and visit and see our new space.

Hope Garden Moves! In 2011, we moved and thanks to all who helped!

What we posted then: "The architectural plans have come alive and we now have our new studios, but we still have build out costs to pay off even though most of it was done by amazing volunteers. So be a part of the dream, the vision, of spacious studios and a safe and artistic environment for the enthusiastic youth and dancers of our area by donating now to our BUILDING FUND. Click on the PayPal button right below, and using your own credit card or PayPal, enter whatever amount you want to give, and we thank you in advance!Please e-mail with questions or suggestions  and come see us at the brand new studios, at 19710 Fisher Ave., in Poolesville, MD. We accept any donations at any time as well, you do not have to use PayPal. Thank you!"  This was part of the history in 2011.  Thanks for everyone's elp at that time; we have thrived!


Hope Garden Summer Classes and Camps: Technique, Movement, and Fun!

Summer ballet camp at Hope Garden Ballet Academy includes ballet technique, ballet related games and crafts. For the younger ones, fun through movement is emphasized, while learning new steps and proper alignment of the body. While fun is the buzz word for the younger ones, intensity is the word for the older students. Not only do they learn more advanced technique and placement, they also experience other dance forms such as jazz or contemporary and character. MORE

About Hope Garden Ballet Academy

At Hope Garden Ballet Academy all students are treated with respect and love: the tiny dancer in a tutu; the teenage athlete who seeks to gain strength and flexibility; the adult who realizes the health benefits of the correct study of classical ballet; and the aspiring professional dancer who will one day grace the stage of a major dance company.

Located in the town of Poolesville, in Upper Montgomery County, Maryland, Hope Garden Ballet Academy has been offering pre-professional as well as recreational classes in Classical Ballet for boys, girls, and adults since 1997. Artistic Director and founder Fran Ichijo has been teaching ballet for 30 years using the Vaganovasystem. Her dancers have gone on to become soloists and principals at ballet companies around the world. Hope Garden students have qualified for supplemental summer training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet , Bolshoi Academy, The Rock School in Philadelphia, Joffrey, MYB, Gelsey Kirkland, and performed many times with major companies at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She shares her passion for dance with kindness and fun.