Crystal River Ballet began in the summer of 1999. It was Ms. Jeni's dream to open a ballet school that would encourage students to make the most of their gifts and abilities, persevere to make their dreams reality and nurture them while motivating young minds to be the best that they can be. The art of dance teaches students so much more than how to turn and leap; Melissa Hayden said "Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all: to express your whole self, the person you are."
Ms.Jeni was born in the Roaring Fork Valley and was raised in Golden, Colo. She began her dance studies at the Golden Recreation Department and moved on to study with Carla Parks at the Academy of Classical Ballet in Lakewood. While studying she performed in The Nutcracker with both the Colorado Ballet and David Taylor Dance Theater. She eventually moved back to the Roaring Fork Valley and began studying and dancing with Dance Aspen, Aspen Ballet, Colorado Mountain College and later went on to the "Centre de danse International" in Cannes. France under Rosella Hightower. Ms. Jeni missed the beautiful mountains and came home to start dancing and teaching for Colorado Mountain College, the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts and Aspen Ballet.
Crystal River Ballet School offers classes in creative movement, ballet for ages 3 to adults and contemporary dance for ages 7 and up.