Smarties, I’m thrilled to introduce you to today’s Smarty Mom, Jeanene Perry. I’m quite sure Jeanene is one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet. I had the pleasure of getting to know Jeanene over the last few years as a fellow mom of rowdy boys (and one sweet and sassy little girl:-). She always looks dressed to the nines, even in yoga duds – accessories and all. When Jeanene isn’t sharing her love of dance with young talent at NC Dance Theatre, she’s heading up her school talent show, or fundraiser or making a fab line of hand-made jewels and raising the bar with everything she puts her hands on.
Jeanene’s amazing family seems absolutely surreal, her childhood sounds straight out of a movie set and how she landed in Charlotte was meant to be. I adore Jeanene, she’s one of the those people who makes you smile every second you are around her and you find yourself thirsting for more.
I won’t steal her thunder, I’ll let Jeanene give you a peak inside of her world.
Smarties, meet Jeanene Perry!
Jeanene’s Smarty Mom Stats:
Mom of: Web (7) & Arianna (5)
Married to: Ford for 10 years
Years in Charlotte: 16
Hometown: Spokane, Washington
Occupation: Ballet teacher/Choreographer and Jewelry Designer
You have the most interesting family I’ve ever heard of. Tell us all about them. All twelve of you☺
That’s a tall order…in a nutshell we are a dozen, split evenly between the sexes, of creative, fun, think-outside-the box entrepreneurs and adrenaline junkies. Our mother’s daily screech, “Don’t you have something better to do than watch TV!!?,” drove many of us to, well, find something better to do.
My parents were really focused on raising us with good values, ensuring we went to church weekly, and giving us the best education possible while helping us pursue whatever dream or talent we had. My father, a world-renowned mining engineer, continues to oversee mining ventures and serve of various boards at the age of 80, while my mother manages our family closely and ties us all together regularly.
1. Margaret is a primary care physican in Nevada.( her 2nd career after being a biology teacher for 26 years).
2. David is CEO and President of a gold mining company in Colorado and sits on several corporate boards. He is also an entrepreneur, private pilot and public speaker on the subject of mining.
3. Katherine was a journalist, fitness instructor, mother of two from California. She was always the family cheerleader. She fought Leukemia for several years and passed away in 1997.
4. Marvin is a highly decorated retired US Army Colonel, helicopter pilot, private pilot, and successful business entrepreneur.
5. Elizabeth is a home healthcare provider, writer, and mother of eight amazing children.
6. Marian is a high school counselor, private pilot, an amazing female skier and also shares her amazing voice weekly at church.
7. Matthew is a professional Civil engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur a. He has also written the most amazing (and yet to be published) series of children’s stories.
8. Anne is single mom extraordinaire and in management at Boeing Commercial Airplanes in customer operations and she’s the “Glue” of the family always organizing everything.
9. Andrew is a professional Mechanical Engineer and CEO of St Augustine Gold and served in the US Airforce.
10. Charles is our technology guru, inventor, entrepreneur, and world explorer.
11. Mark is a professional Aerospace Engineer , inventor, explorer entrepreneur, and private pilot.
12. I am the youngest of the twelve, and I chose a career path as a professional ballet dancer and choreographer. In my spare time, I donate my time and talents to supporting Juvenile Diabetes.
When did you decide to become a professional dancer?
I somehow always knew, I think I might have been born with the love of dance!
How did you land with NC Dance Theatre?
Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux invited me as a guest artist to Chautauqua, NY where the North Carolina Dance Theatre does a summer season. While I was performing there he invited me to join his company in Charlotte. I didn’t even pause, I knew it was the right decision.
Tell us the philosophy at NC Dance Theatre.
Company: NC Dance Theatre performs both classical works, like Nutcracker and Cinderella, and also contemporary ballets by choreographers including Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe and Dwight Rhoden.
Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, the artistic director, looks for dancers who can do both classical and contemporary and who are able to act and portray characters through dance. He calls the company a “company of soloists” meaning everyone gets a chance to standout, take risks and grow as performers.
School: I feel like the philosophy at our school has been to train the whole person. We are able to train really high level professional dancers yet so many of our graduates go on to dance in college and have successful non dance careers as well. The disciple as well as the work ethic and team work we teach the students they are able to transfer to every aspect of their work and life. I feel like there is a great synergy between the teachers and students. So many of our teachers are parents as well and really are concerned about each individual and guiding them thru their training.
Tell us about the Nutcracker Holiday Performance and how can we buy tickets?
-Performance is Dec. 13-22 at the Belk Theater in Uptown Charlotte.
-Tickets can be purchased at ncdance.org or 704.372.1000.
-The Nutcracker is choreographed by Artistic Director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and includes live music from the Charlotte Symphony and over 100 performers.
-Nutcracker is a great way to introduce children to dance. The performance is 2 hours, including a 20-minute intermission.
What tips do you have for moms of young dancers?
Let your child enjoy dancing, no pressure!
What is your favorite thing to do with your family for the holidays?
We spend Christmas at my parents’ mountain house. We load the kids on a sled and go out into the woods, let the kids pick their favorite tree and bring it back to the cabin to decorate.
We also love to go to NCDT Nutcracker as a family, such a fun holiday tradition.
Favorite restaurant to take the whole fam?
What is the last meal you cooked?
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage
Preheat oven to 425°.
To prepare crema, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.To prepare tacos, combine cumin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of fish. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Place fish in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage and 1 tablespoon crema.
The phrase you’ve said to your children more than any other at home is…
“really?” they never cease to amaze me both good and bad!!
Behavioral trait you hope your kids don’t inherit from you.
I love to do things at the last minute, I don’t know if it’s the adrenaline but I do my best work under pressure! It doesn’t always come stress free.
Funniest thing your kids have ever said to you?
“Mama, you have “Who” hair”
What is something most people don’t know about you?
That I am a crazy downhill skier. When I was dancing in the company we were not allowed to do any sports that we could get injured doing, but somehow when I went home to visit my family out West I just couldn’t resist those triple black diamonds.
Now that I am no longer performing I feel like skiing is the best way to feel the freedom I felt when I was on the stage.
Best book you’ve read lately?
I recently reread Gift From the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh. It meant so much more at 40 than it did to me at 30. A beautiful read, very grounding.
The sweet potato fries at Cow Bell downtown- Yum!
Register for TWO Giveaways this week!
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The My Secret Angel & Me Giveaway:
FOUR lucky Smarties will win this precious holiday tradition. We’ll pick our winners on Wednesday, December 11th. Click here for details!