What do math science and ballet have in common? Jack Virga Hall has combined those three subjects and found a very unique way to teach kids subjects they don't usually like to learn.
One kick from Virga-Hall's very powerful feet could easily stop someone dead in their tracks. He enjoys practicing kicks and maneuvers on his street in Redondo Beach. But his martial arts skills come with a twist.
“I'm a certified third-degree black belt in the style of Isshin-ryu, I'm a green belt in Taekwondo, a brown belt in Goju-ryu. And I’ve performed all over the globe as a professional ballet dancer.”
Virga-Hall sits on his steps, takes off his sneakers and pulls pink ballet pointe shoes out of his bag. He puts them on, walks back out into the middle of the street and begins warming up for his other passion. Ballet.
In addition to being one of the world's only black belt ballet dancers, Virga-Hall’s skills on point make him extremely unique.
“It is not common for men to dance on point. I have strong feet,” he says.
Virga-Hall's strong feet made dancing on his toes easy. And he quickly became one of the few men in the professional ballet world capabe of dancing on point.
“I dance for Ballet de Homme, which is an all-male classical ballet point company.”
Ten years ago, he co-founded the Pacific Dance Center in Redondo Beach. He teaches children of all ages ballet, jazz, modern and hip hop. And the school holds sold-out performances throughout the year in the South Bay area.
Virga-Hall's love for teaching children led him to create a program called SMARTS, which stands for Science, Math, And Arts. His goal is to expose kids to dance through educational outlets.
The SMARTS program is currently in 22 schools around Los Angeles and his curriculum is targeted to keep the attention of second graders.
“I love being able to teach kids because it allowed me an opportunity to share, educate and expose children to dance that they may not otherwise have been exposed to,” he says.
Despite his busy schedule, Virga-Hall still finds time to put on his point shoes and do what he loves most.