Mila was born and raised in Smithfield, Virginia where she began her dance training with Leslie McGinn who was a protégée and member of the original Eglevsky Ballet Company. Under Ms. McGinn’s guidance Mila had her first taste of teaching and knew instantly what her own career choice would be. She attended Radford University and majored in dance. From day one of Mila’s college experience she became immersed in the world of classical ballet. She studied under Yugoslavian born Franco Jelencic, renowned as a strict disciplinarian and one of the most esteemed ballet masters in the professional ballet world. Throughout her undergraduate studies Mila performed many lead roles and was coached by Jelencic’s wife, prima ballerina Dagmar Kessler. Naturally Mila’s love for the Outer Banks brought her to perform in The Lost Colony, America’s oldest and longest running outdoor drama. After working with the Lost Colony for two seasons, she was promoted to dance captain for her third and final season. Ms. Smith began her teaching career contributing to the ballet and jazz program at Golden Slippers, a large studio in the Virginia Beach area. In 2005 Mila began teaching at Atlantic Dance where she is now owner and director. Her two greatest pleasures in life are sharing her passion for dance along with the joy of being a wife and mother.
Of utmost importance to Mila is her belief that the key ingredient to a successful dance program is a strong emphasis on classical ballet. The primary teaching mission at Atlantic Dance is to emphasize and promote skilled ballet training which is necessary for a student to achieve her full potential.
Before becoming a teacher, Mila was first a proficient dancer classically trained in the Russian Vagonava style. This style fused with knowledge of Cecchetti methodology allows each of the students the opportunity to pursue dance at the college level with the confidence of a strong basic classical technique. Atlantic Dance offers a balanced program that allows both recreational and serious dance students the optimal opportunity to grow as dancers and creative individuals. We pride ourselves in an experienced and effective approach. It starts with preschool and elementary students who develop into well-rounded young adults. Our students are introduced to many styles and trends in dance while maintaining a commitment to the essential principles of a good dance education. It is our belief that this dedication and discipline cultivate the poise and self-confidence that will be life-long attributes for all of our students.
As Mila enthusiastically exclaims when prompted for more details about our credentials and mission statement, “Come to our annual recital and see the dancing speak for it self!”