Ninette Paloma
Paul Wellman

Ninette Paloma’s first dance class in Santa Barbara was taught by the legendary Doug Elkins, a master class put on by Summerdance, and she was sold on our town. The Columbia College dance major came fresh from working at Actors Gymnasium in Chicago via the Polacseks, an Old World circus family she’d begged to teach her the craft. Instead, Jerry Polacsek invited her to “explore” the tools of the trade with them — the teeterboard, unicycle, stilts, and tightwire among them. The faith and the love she developed are plain in her cover story, which concentrates on a number of dancers who’ve inspired the next generation, and in her unique floor-to-air studio here, which celebrates its first decade this year.


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