Veteran dancer says she’s ‘having a blast’ learning new style
Angel Lavery is no stranger to the dance world, having been a member of the San Francisco 49ers cheerleading squad and now co-founder of Ballet Edge Detroit. But she’s still finding ballroom dancing to be a new challenge.
“It’s actually very different, it’s like I’m on a different planet,” she says. “I realize that ballroom is a very different format from ballet. You have to follow the leader. You sort of dance around the whole room. There’s not necessarily one side where the audience is, it’s sort of a 360-degree fishbowl. It’s a very different feeling.”
Angel is one of six dancers who will be completing in our 10th annual Dancing With the Detroit Stars event on November 17 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.
Lavery and her partner, Ryan Beck from the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, have been working on a samba routine, which she describes as “something more upbeat and fast and energetic.” Ryan choreographed and Angel is learning the dance. They’ve been training since mid-September.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Lavery says. “Ryan is very patient. We kind of laugh a lot because we goof up, try again, goof up … but then we eventually get it. It’s very different from anything I’ve done, and I’m having a blast.”
Lavery grew up in San Francisco and joined the 49ers Gold Rush Cheerleaders squad as a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, staying on for two seasons.
“It was a lot of work,” she says. “I think that people have a misconception about NFL cheerleading. I think we practiced six hours at a time on Saturdays, and then on Sundays, we were at the games from dawn to dusk.”
Having moved to Michigan about nine years ago, she currently works as a math teacher at Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills. Angel launched Ballet Edge Detroit in 2017 with Erica Marshall; the group rehearses at Christina’s Adult Ballet in Farmington Hills.
Lavery says she’s excited for the event but she’s not treating it as a competition.
“I wouldn’t say I’m nervous,” she says. “I’m treating it as something fun and it’s for a good cause.”
To support Angel in her fundraising goal, click here to have your ticket purchase or donation count to her page today!