Ask Stafford Ballet Academy's Director, Judy Kegg, why she loves ballet and her responses range from very practical- "dance teaches discipline, focus, determination, and confidence" to abstract- "on stage music and movement flow through the dancer in a heady rush of emotion and drama"
Judy was introduced to the world of ballet at age six by Jacqueline Hepner-Thurston, a dancer with the prestigious New York City Ballet, the Washington Ballet, and the National Ballet before retiring to Judy's neighborhood in the early 1960s.
Hepner-Thurston turned her new house into the area's first classical ballet school. Within the mirrored walls of this local Rockville, Maryland studio, Judy's passion for dance ignited.
As a student of Hepner-Thurston, and of another Washington and National Ballet alumnus, Phyllis Blake, Judy was introduced to the rigors of the Royal Academy of Dance, a training technique developed by England's great ballet masters of the 1920s.
As a teenager and young adult, Judy explored a variety of other studios and dance styles. She learned both the Russian Vagonava and the Italian Cecchetti styles of dance from the inspirational Daniel Diamond, founder of the Maryland Ballet and previous Director of the Panamanian National Ballet. Through Diamond, Judy studied elements of kinesiology to improve her technique and prevent injuries.
Judy also studied with one of George Balanchine's first students, Catherine Maloney, adding the renowned Balanchine style of rapid-fire precision to her dance repertoire.
In 1975, Judy became a soloist for Rockville Civic Ballet (RCB), performing such demanding roles as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker Ballet, Odette in Swan Lake, Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Judy brings musicality, an elegant line, and crisp pointed work to all her roles. What does Judy like best about performing? "I love letting go and pouring all my emotions into drama and movement."
Although best known as RCB's most seasoned ballerina, Judy is an accomplished ceramic artist as well, with a private studio located on the grounds of her woodland home in Falmouth, Virginia. She is a professional set designer for the City of Rockville for performances of RCB in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater.
When she is not roughing it at Spruce Knob with husband Chip, or playing fetch with Molly Dog, Judy uses her stagecraft talents to create wedding backdrops, paint murals and faux finishes, and design home furnishings for family, friends, and friends of friends!