Fleur de Lis adds new dance company

Wilton’s Fleur de Lis Academy is hosting a fundraising gala on Saturday, Sept. 20 to celebrate the launch of the Encore Youth Company, a new dance company founded by Fleur de Lis owner Michelle Sperry. Dancers must audition for a spot in the company; an intensive dance program providing students with the opportunity to train and perform in a pre-professional environment, a press release from the academy said last week.

Fleur de Lis, itself, offers professional dance instruction for children of all ages.

Ms. Sperry, who opened Fleur de Lis in Wilton five years ago, said in the release she felt the time was right to start a professional youth dance company.

“Many of the dancers in the company have been taking dance lessons here or with another dance studio for several years, and have developed the skill and passion to be ready to take their dancing to the next level,” she said.

As a former professional ballet dancer, and an affiliate of the American Academy of Ballet, she is ready to host the Encore Youth Company in studio space at Fleur de Lis’s new location at 1 Danbury Road.

“One of the reasons I moved Fleur de Lis to this site was because it has enough space for two dance studios — for students who attend Fleur de Lis classes as well as a dedicated studio space for the Encore Youth Company. All three studios have marley flooring, which serious students of dance will appreciate,” she said. Marley-type floors are performance surfaces made of vinyl offering the proper amount of traction for the kind of dance performed on them.

In addition to three spacious, light-filled dance studios, the new location includes a dressing room area and study area for the company dancers, a costume-fitting room which houses Fleur de Lis’ inventory of hundreds of costumes, a ballet supplies shop and a family lounge with a view of one of the dance studios.

“Fleur de Lis offers a full range of dance classes from classical ballet — including pointe — to jazz, contemporary dance, tap and hip-hop for the beginner to the experienced dancer, all taught by a staff of seasoned professional dancers in a beautiful and nurturing setting,” Ms. Sperry said. “With the opening of the Encore Youth Company, students who are interested in pursuing a career in dance can hone their technique as members of the company.”

Ms. Sperry says anyone who is interested in dance, from beginners to experienced dancers, is invited to attend the gala on Sept. 20 from 3 to 6 p.m. The event is free, open to the public and includes dance performances by the junior and senior Encore Youth Company members from 4 to 5, refreshments, a wine tasting and a silent auction for many items including a one-year family membership to the Aldrich Museum, Broadway show tickets, gift certificates to popular local restaurants and a pair of pointe shoes signed by a well-known ballerina who dances with one of the New York City professional ballet companies.

Information: fleurdelisacademy.com or 203-210-7155.