Professional dancers return to celebrate the ballet company that helped shape their careers

Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre welcomes three of its talented alumni home this month. The ballet company is set to take the Manship Theatre stage for a showcase of these dancers, who have gone onto major dance companies and prestigious schools across the country. Emelia Perkins, LeTiger Walker and Rishell Maxwell will perform four pieces created by other BRBT alums for the “Homecoming Dances” show.

“When our alumni succeed and go to work in the professional dance world, I think it’s important for future dancers and students to [see] what they themselves could be capable of,” says BRBT co-artistic director Sharon Mathews. “All of Baton Rouge should be proud of these homegrown artists.”

Here, two of the visiting dancers share their thoughts on returning home.

• “When I lived in Baton Rouge, I never really thought that I could be a professional dancer. My greatest hope is that by being involved with these young dancers, I can be seen as proof of what they too can achieve.”—Emelia Perkins, now an apprentice with Sarasota Ballet

•  “Having the opportunity to be back on stage this year with the company that has made such an influence in my dance career is like no other. I am filled with gratitude and elation to be dancing with and for my peers and family.” —LeTiger Walker, now a member of Garth Fagan Dance in Rochester, New York

This article was originally published in the May 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.