Lynley Von Engeln grew up attending Pennsylvania Ballet’s Nutcracker. She enrolled at age 10 at a local dance school in Pennsylvania. Though she took classes in just about every genre, it was the elegance and expression of ballet that really drew her in.
She found she loved the balance of freedom and discipline the art form requires. “I was always very shy growing up (and still am at times),” she says. “But ballet gave me a way to express myself that always felt very safe.”
While attending a performing arts high school, Lynley had a chance encounter with an instructor from UMKC’s Conservatory for Music and Dance. It’s why she later enrolled there. Her start with Kansas City Ballet School came from a post graduate internship. She has since moved up the ranks from intern to instructor and Children’s Program and School Coordinator.
A LOVE OF TEACHING
As a teacher, Lynley enjoys the constant learning cycle from student to teacher and teacher to student. “Even at the young age of 2, I am constantly learning new things from my students which helps me to grow as a teacher and a person,” she says. “I love getting to know each student and finding ways to spark their creativity.”
She admits she loves teaching little ones: “There is something so innocent and brave about that age, when they are unaware of the eyes of the world and any restrictions that might hold them back. They are SO creative and have no inhibitions in terms of movement or expression. I find it really inspiring and renewing to watch and teach young students. However, there are aspects of each level that I teach that I cherish.”
Growing up, dance was such an important part of Lynley’s life. It taught her discipline, expression, confidence, and so much more. For all of her students, she hopes to pass on the same experience and knowledge that she was given.
Lynley says, “Even if I had not gone into the arts as a profession, I feel as though studying dance made me a better, well-rounded person.”