Tara Gragg received her early training in her hometown of Flint, MI at the Flint School of Performing Arts. She went on to graduate from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Ballet. During her time with Oklahoma Festival Ballet, OU’s performing company, Tara had the opportunity to perform featured roles in works by renowned choreographers and was fortunate to participate in an international tour to Shanghai, China. Since graduation, she has danced with City Ballet of San Diego, Tulsa Ballet, and Grand Rapids Ballet; her professional repertoire includes ballets by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, August Bournonville, Paul Taylor, and Lew Christensen. In 2012, Tara moved to Chicago and performed with many companies in the city including Chicago Repertory Ballet, the Ruth Page Civic Ballet, and Aerial Dance Chicago; she also appeared as a featured solo dancer and aerialist in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal. Tara began dancing with Island Moving Company in the summer of 2014, and was invited to teach at the Newport Academy of Ballet shortly afterwards. Much of her teaching draws from her early training under the Vaganova syllabus, or Russian method of training. Her classes focus on anatomically correct placement, a strong sense of musicality, and using the body expressively.