MEET CHRISTINA NOEL ADCOCK
Photo by Matthew Gale.
NOTE: As we look to reopen our doors and reignite the arts, one thing becomes clear: The key to our creativity is our people. Songs are not sung, sets are not built, choreography is not taught, and canvases are not painted on their own. In our new “Humans of the Arvada Center” series, we are highlighting the heartbeat of the Center: The people who make up the Arvada Center family.
By Leslie Simon and John Moore
Longtime Arvada Center Dance Coordinator Christina Noel Adcock comes from theatre DNA. She began her training with her grandmother, Jeanette Noel, a prima ballerina for the Brussels Opera.
“I was literally raised in the ballet studio,” she said. “My grandmother owned a dance studio, and my aunt, mother and father were all dancers. They all taught in her school. The studio was on the main floor, my grandmother’s apartment was on the second floor and the costume storage was on the third floor. So the ballet studio and costume shop were mine to play in.”
Christina spent most of her youth dressing up in costumes and making up ballets. “So you could say I didn’t find the arts. The arts found me,” she said.
"She’s magical, really.” – Cleo Parker Robinson
Christina was groomed in the world of ballet by greats from the Royal Ballet, Paris Opera, American Ballet Theatre and Finis Jhung, who has taught everyone from prima ballerinas to Broadway stars (including the young leads of the Broadway musical “Billy Elliot”) to adult beginning students of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
Christina danced professionally in Chicago, San Diego and Denver as a soloist and principal dancer before being named artistic director and ballet mistress for the Arvada Center. She is also currently the ballet mistress for the internationally renowned Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in Denver.
But after years of professional dancing, Christina’s life took a consequential turn when she almost lost her left foot to an infection. “It turned out that my left ankle had auto-fused, and the doctors told me I would most likely never walk again, dance again or teach again,” she said.
“I proved them wrong on all counts.”
While deeply rooted in artistic tradition, Christina’s instructional approach embraces science and modern developments in ballet technique with an emphasis on injury prevention. She is known not only for her keen eye for detail, but also for her warmth, energy and humor. Her areas of expertise include: Pointe shoe pain and pointe-work problem resolution, pointe preparation, extension development, petite allegro, healthy child dance development and men's coaching.
Although there were techniques Christina no longer could demonstrate after her medical crisis, she simply created a whole new way of teaching.
Cleo Parker Robinson calls it a miracle that Christina can teach the way she has since her injury. “She teaches with such a dancer’s intelligence,” she said. “Because of her injury, Christina can really talk about that visceral connection to their bodies that dancers need from their teachers. She’s magical, really.”
Christina is “very nearly unparalleled” in her ability to root out the cause of pain and injury in dancers, added Bianca Juganaru, owner of Albuquerque’s Studio B Dance. “Her ability to explain the movement pathology she finds, and how to amend it to her students in a fashion they can understand and work with makes her a truly remarkable and an extraordinarily rare instructor and dance professional.”
Added Alexia Liavas, owner and director of Aspire Dance Studio: “Miss Christina is the best. The Arvada Center is so lucky to have her.”
For more about Arvada Center dance classes, go to arvadacenter.org/dance
Learn more about Christina, go to her website at noelballet.com