Practicing Perfection: Music & Dance #251

Artists know that their craft can be both an aesthetic and kinesthetic experience. Our brains and bodies change as a result of time spent practicing and performing—this is especially true for children. Today we explore these ideas with Elizabeth Drucker, owner and director of The Ballet School in Topsham and with Dr. Anastasia Antonacos, award-winning recitalist and professor of music at the University of Southern Maine.

Photo by Nicole Wolf


Elizabeth Drucker

Elizabeth Drucker is the owner and director of The Ballet School in Topsham, Maine.  She received her training from Nancy Bielski and at the School of American Ballet in New York City, and went on to dance professionally with the New York City Ballet.  She has been teaching ballet in Maine and New York for 23 years, and works with all ages and abilities.  Her classes emphasize technique and musicality in an environment that promotes confidence and healthy personal growth.  She has choreographed numerous ballets for her students including Alice in Wonderland and Calendaria: Celebrating the Seasons.   When not in the studio, Elizabeth enjoys being outside raising chickens, running with her dogs, riding her bike, or gardening.  She lives in Topsham with her husband, Dereck Treadwell

Dr. Anastasia Antonacos

Dr. Anastasia Antonacos is a pianist on the faculty of the University of Southern Maine and a frequent recitalist, chamber player and concerto soloist. She has given notable performances around the world as a solo recitalist and chamber musician.  She has played at venues such as the Salle Cortot, Casa Orfeo, Holland’s Alkmaar Conservatory, and Alice Tully Hall.  She has also played in Greece, Russia, France, and Belgium, as well as various places in the U.S., including Washington D.C., where she testified for funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Antonacos has made solo appearances with the Northshore Philharmonic Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.  She won First Place at the International Young Artist Music Competition in Bulgaria, and she holds prizes from the Capdepera International Piano Competition in Mallorca and the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition.

She has collaborated with violinist Joseph Silverstein, as well as with members of the Vermeer, Cassatt and DaPonte Quartets.  She was a chamber music coach at Bay Chamber Concerts’ Next Generation program for many years.  She regularly serves as a masterclass teacher and adjudicator.  she holds a master’s and doctorate in piano performance from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine School of Music.  She lives with her husband and daughter in Portland, where she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of Portland by the Phoenix.