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Woman Teaches Ballet To Girls In Juvenile Detention

5:24 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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St. Louis, MO-- To say Elizabeth Herring has had an interesting life is a bit of an understatement.

"Well, I did the trapeze for the 80th birthday party," Herring says.

Born and raised in Ladue, she went to boarding school in Maryland, studied ballet in New York and then this St. Louis socialite did the unthinkable.

"I had never in all of my wildest dreams thought you could just join the circus as a dancer," Herring says.

That's right: she joined the circus and, let's just say, it wasn't exactly the path her parents had planned.

"She kept saying tell me the name of the company, and I finally went Ringling Brothers Circus and then there was silence," Herring says, referring to her call home to tell her mom.

It would be the first of many unthinkable moments. A few years ago with Prison Performing Arts, she went behind bars to teach the men Shakespeare.

"I even got to be in a play," Herring says.

And now at 86 she's trying to breakdown boundaries at the bar through ballet.

"Even in two times, if they are trying and paying attention I can see them just feeling better about the way they're sitting or walking or moving," Herring says.

So while she's helping the girls at the Juvenile Detention Center discover a new art form.

"Heads straight forward," she tells her students.

She's reminding the rest of us to try something new, be kind to everyone and live life to the fullest regardless of how old you are.

Herring recently penned her autobiography "Still Swinging in Wonderland" and you can find it local bookstores and Amazon.com.

KSDK

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