Instead, Hope Miller has been teaching ballet in a patient, supportive fashion to girls under 15 years old for 33 years. She founded her own dance company, millermuller, in 1999, and opened her White Rock dance studio, Heritage School of Classical Ballet, in 2007.
“I have a lifetime of experience in performing, choreographing and teaching for many schools and companies in Texas,” she said.
Hope began dancing at the age of four. At 11, she started training with legendary, Russian-born Madame Nathalie Krassovska. Mme. Krassovska was a prima ballerina with the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo and the London Festival Ballet, who came to Dallas in the 1950s and formed the Ballet Jeunnesse of Dallas. Later she formed the original Dallas City Ballet. Hope continued working with Mme. Krassovska until she was 20.
“I performed in many ballets, including Pas de Quatre,’ ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and was the soloist in ‘Walpurgis Nacht,’” she said.
Hope was an instructor for Mme. Krassovska for 10 years. Krassovska died in Dallas in 2005.
“She was a brilliant artist and an inspiring teacher with incredible strength, artistry and discipline,” Hope said of Krassovska. “Her joy in this wonderful art form has given us all the chance to be more than we ever dreamed possible.”
Hope created a ballet history program with her long-time friend and now partner, Mary Muller. She and Muller danced for audiences around the Dallas area in the late 1970s. Additionally, Hope has taught for many Dallas-area schools and in San Antonio for 20 years.
She taught classes at the Cherrilane School of Dance in Lakewood.
“I have been fortunate to study Flamenco, Irish step dance and Japanese modern and I use these styles to influence my choreography,” Hope said.
She attended SMU and continued her training at Richland College, where she also performed for more than 20 years.
The school’s youngest to learn the plié are three-year-olds, and Hope has ballerinas of 53 doing the arabesque in her classes.
“Each of our core group of dancers brings something unique to the table,” Hope said. “My adult company members love dance and show passion and strength every time they’re on stage.”
She explains that her foundation is classical ballet, although all of the music’s origin isn’t necessarily classical.
Sometimes she includes a character dance like a Can Can, for example. Hope also turns to jazz, new age and electric synthesizer on occasion. However, the school generally performs classics such as “The Nutcracker” and the music of Chopin.
“We often perform lyrical ballet, which is a crossover between ballet and jazz,” she said.
“It is ethereal ballet, with jazz being earthy and grounded, with a soft, fluid soft style of dance.”
Hope said that she started the company to perform at some of the more unusual venues in Dallas, such as conventions, including Japanese animation, science fiction and fantasy.
Some of her 2011 performances included the Classical Ballet Festival, the Diffusion Dance Festival and the Lakewood Summer Art Faire.
Hope said she has a family of dancers, including step dancers, who compete in worldwide competitions. Some of them studied at SMU’s distinguished dance department.
The dancer has been married for 27 years to Beathan, “a wonderful man who has been my support and true love since the dawn of time,” Hope said.
The couple has three children, including 26-year-old twins – a daughter and a son – and a 20- year-old son.
“Living is dancing,” Hope said. “This is who I am. What I am. All I have ever been.”