The Berwyn Ballet School dances up from the basement
By Alexandra Alpert
Back in 2020, when the world was grappling with challenges posed by the pandemic, Kimberly Reim was teaching ballet to a small group of students in a basement. Reim’s classes continued to grow, and by September 2021, she was renting studio space.
“I had a whole five-year plan for the school, but let’s just say the school grew way faster than I could have ever expected,” she said.
The school now has nine instructors, according to its website, including Reim, the founder and creative director, and Lori Provost, the studio’s current owner and director.
The community rallied to support Reim’s quest to purchase a permanent home. “[We] have a community and a city that really cares about the arts,” she said. “[This] has been such an incredible place for us to grow and thrive.”
Lori Provost, who took over as owner of Berwyn Ballet about a year ago, expressed gratitude to Michael Williams, the city’s director of economic development, and Kabir, the College Park Mayor. “They have both really been a support to our school and were really pivotal in helping us find a space,” she said.
The school currently holds classes in three locations: the Old Parish House in Old Town, Kim Studio in Berwyn, and a new home studio on Baltimore Avenue north of University Boulevard.
The Berwyn Ballet School held a ribbon-cutting on Aug. 26, with Kabir and Williams in attendance. Provost again shared her appreciation for their help. “It was nice to be able to recognize them for their work,” she said.
The grand opening drew a large crowd, and the school showcased a small performance and offered attendees free classes.
Provost said that the school, which is the only ballet school in the city, aims to represent the College Park community. The school offers classes for all ages, starting with dancers as young as three. According to Reim, the school currently has almost 200 active students.
Provost is dedicated to providing individual attention to students and fostering a close-knit atmosphere.
Student Karen Generose said that the studio gives her and her son a sense of community they value.
“The new space is lovely. It has been a really good space to learn in, and is more central in College Park. The new studio has been such a positive for the school,” she said.