The idea for LIFT studio began with Irina’s love of ballet, dance and music combined with her love for working with children and adults.
Irina was born and raised in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg, Russia — historically known for its long-standing tradition of excellence in the performing arts. It is the home to the world-famous Vaganova Ballet Academy, which was founded in 1738. The Russian technique of dancing contributed to the ballet world its own style, also called “Vaganova” style, which is considered by ballet enthusiasts to be more expressive and dramatic, than the French and Italian schools of ballet. It has produced many world famous dancers such as George Balanchine, founder of the New York Ballet and American Ballet, Nicholai Barishnikov, Rudolph Nureyeve, and Anna Pavlova just to name a few.
Today, the Vaganova ballet academy is considered to be the best ballet school in the world. It has a rigorous student selection process and accepts only the most exceptionally promising and talented dancers from around the world.
Irina Cowles, founder and Artistic Director of LIFT was fortunate to receive many years of ballet training with Nicholai Petrov, one of the Vaganova’s graduates. She performed in many concerts, theater productions, competitions and has choreographed successful dance routines.
After being a stay-at-home mom for a number of years, Irina’s vision for LIFT was to provide not only evening and weekend classes, but also a full daytime schedule of classes for stay-at-home moms and others who are at home during the day.
From there, the idea was born to add a tumbling gym for our youngest students, starting at age 1 years old and develop Mommy & Me classes, as well as other programs for children and adults of all ages and skill levels.
In order to better serve the Van Alstyne community, Irina’s vision for the studio extended into other areas. She wanted to match qualified instructors with students that would be interested in taking various classes in:
- Aerial Yoga/Pilates
- Cardio Boxing
- Adult Ballet & Barre Workout
- Ballroom Dance and Other Styles of Dance
- Summer Camps
- Parents’ Night Out
- Girls Night Out
- Birthday Party Venue
- Open Tumbling Gym
- Mommy & Me Ballet
- Parent & Me Tumbling
- Home School Physical Education