Elise Gillum Millennium Pittsburgh Faculty

Backstage Faculty Feature: Elise Gillum

Name: Elise Gillum
Role at MDCP: Company Program Ballet Teacher

What do you go by during class:

Ms. Elise or Elise

When did you start dancing?

I started dancing at the age of 4.

What do you love most about dance?

I love that dancing is universal, and it can be shared with anyone in the world to communicate and create something beautiful.

When did you start teaching at Millennium and how is it different from other studios?

I started teaching at MDCP in the summer of 2017. I love that everyone is so organized and positive! Millennium is different from other studios because we really focus on having something for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or you are advanced dancer, any style of dance you want to learn you can find it here, and feel welcome!

What are your classes like?

For beginners, I try to fully explain the steps and what you are trying to achieve with your body so you get the most out of your training. For more advanced dancers, I really like to push your mind and technique with complicated combinations and difficult steps. For all levels of my classes, I like to keep it positive, challenging, and fun!

Describe the craziest dance experience you’ve had – other instructors you’ve met or people you’ve performed with?

When I was 17, I was training at City Ballet School in San Francisco, CA. Our director was trained at the Bolshoi Academy, and about every four years they take a class from City Ballet SF back to visit the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow, Russia. I very was lucky to be in the class that went! We got to take classes at the Bolshoi Academy, watch the Bolshoi, the Stanislavsky, and the Mariinsky Ballet perform. We got to go sightseeing and experience authentic Russian cuisine. It was a wonderful experience!

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone thinking about taking a class at Millennium, what would it be?

My advice would be to come with an open mind, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Have fun and enjoy yourself!