June 2, 2023
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Leslie Borwick spent most of her life perfecting her passion at some of the country’s most prestigious ballet companies in San Francisco, Dallas and Boston. Now, the retired ballerina continues to tie her toe shoes as she teaches future generations.

What started as a bedroom-converted studio in Clovis, Borwick and her husband Dan ‘ROC’ Borwick opened High Pointe Ballet in 1999 to instruct aspiring ballerinas from all walks of life. Then the pressures of the pandemic hit.

 In March 2020, the Clovis studio was temporarily shut down during New Mexico’s lockdown, but Borwick believed the show must go on. In August, she revived High Pointe Ballet and also opened The Ballet Shoe in Muleshoe. According to the city’s Economic Development Corporation, this is the first ballet studio Muleshoe has seen in over 30 years.

“I knew some families in Muleshoe and asked if they thought a studio would fly here,” Borwick said. “They actually did most of the publicizing through word of mouth. It’s been great.”

After just two weeks, The Ballet Shoe’s registration list filled, and ballerinas from all over came with tutus in tow every Thursday. With both studios combined, she taught 160 students this year. According to Borwick, some pupils consist of toddlers learning to curtsey, while others are seniors in high school finding their next step

The studio’s curriculum teaches proper technique to master balance, agility and strength. While her students are dedicated to their training, they are also involved in activities outside of ballet. Borwick said her students have seen their ballet skills carry over in sports such as soccer, swim, cheer and even rodeo. 

While performance is important, she said her true focus consists of these five teachings: confidence, grace, poise, dignity and determination.

“As a woman if you have those five things, you can take them into any area of life,” the instructor said. “This is really our staple. These girls learn how to carry themselves like young women.”

Borwick said the studio’s fun and energetic atmosphere is what sets it apart from others. While ballet is a beacon of discipline, the teacher strives to keep her students engaged and instill in them a love for the sport.

“If I’m not having fun, then the girls aren’t having fun,” Borwick said. “Ballet is such an artform. It takes years to perfect, and if it’s not fun, no one is going to want to do it.”

With each completed season comes a recital. This year marked the Muleshoe studio’s first spring performance, which was held at the high school on May 27.

Titled “Growing up is Pixie Dust,” the dance’s theme incorporated elements of Disney’s Peter Pan. Borwick said she wanted to send a message of hope to the community and remind people of the magic each day holds.

For next season, The Ballet Shoe will add classes on Wednesdays to accommodate the school’s growing roster. The Clovis and Muleshoe studios will host 200 students combined. Borwick stated the community has played a crucial role in creating a “buzz” and supporting the studio.

“I love coming to Muleshoe,” Borwick said. “The people here are just amazing and so gracious. It’s a unique experience to be a part of.”

For more information about registering your children at The Ballet Shoe, visit their website www.theballetshoe.com.

Hattie Robb

Muleshoe Journal


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