A Dancer Is Born


Early education teachers see the spark. No opportunity goes wasted. The sense of possibility is fanned into a flame. Then creative energy combines with a nurturing and encouraging learning environment. A fire starts that follows our youngest learners out into the world to continue the "journey of becoming all that one can be." Such is the story of Easton Payne, talented dancer, choreographer and teacher, who spent his K -3rd grade years on The Learning Center Campus.

2nd Grade teacher, Stephanie Hopper, recalled immediately the need to put many creative opportunities in front of this young man as she watched his love of dancing with another TLC student, Mary Hall Booze. (See Mary's story in Inspiration Personified, June 3, 2021 blog.) Be it recess, PE, or school dances, these two did not miss a moment to become footloose, many times complete with make-up and costumes. Easton's mom confirmed that, to this day, Easton claims dancing with Mary Hall at The Learning Center sparked his love of of what has now become his art.

In 8th grade after getting the lead part in The Nutcracker with the Atlanta Ballet, Easton began homeschooling as he and his mom moved to Atlanta where he studied with the Atlanta Ballet and a private studio.

At 17, he was spotted by an industry favorite, and soon moved to Miami where he studied ballet and ballroom dancing and began to teach. He worked and danced in Miami for three years and then moved to LA.

The list of accomplishments expanded as he worked with Emma Portner, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and was granted a coveted ballet solo with the International Ballet. Most recently, Easton appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing his choreography with Askinko.


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