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In the Spotlight: "Cool Customer" Renee Griswold

ReneeRenee Griswold at the NASD Conference, where she was a featured speaker.

When you’re managing a ballet school that enrolls hundreds of students, produces multiple student showcases, offers dozens of recreational dance fitness classes for adults, and conducts an annual, international tour seeking fresh talent for summer programs, you better have one important attribute: a level head.

Ask anyone who knows Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy Manager Renee Griswold, and they’ll tell you she fits the bill.

It’s no small task: Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is the only school in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance and one of the three largest dance schools in the nation.

Renee has been part of the Milwaukee Ballet staff for 11 years, which means she’s been around for roughly 22 weeks’ worth of performances of “The Nutcracker.” And how many of those has she actually seen? None.

Well, not from the front of the house, anyway. She’s viewed dozens and dozens of shows from the wings, as she lovingly watches over the students of the school as they grow into performers – and better people.

“It’s a real honor for me to be able to see our kids flourish,” Renee notes. “It’s well-documented that students involved in dance have higher levels of achievement, problem-solving skills and creativity; I see it all the time.”

In fact, Renee has seen students ascend through the ranks of the school and transform into professional dancers.

Of course, it’s in true “Renee fashion” that she shifts the focus away from herself. Luckily, she has many fans throughout Milwaukee Ballet who will sing her praises.

One Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy teacher puts it this way, “Renee is strict yet compassionate, calm yet attentive, and always on top of the details.”

And, on top of it all, Renee is a mom of two boys, and she bikes to work from the nearby suburb of Shorewood.

Suddenly, it all makes sense, doesn’t it?