“My Happy Place” is a weekly series in which local notables take us on a tour of a favorite spot in their home.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Phyllis Papa, founding artistic director of the Atlantic City Ballet, wants peace and quiet when she walks through the door of her 4,000-square-foot home.

Papa’s “Happy Place” in her house is her living room. Her second favorite place is her family room, which she calls the great room.

“My days are stressful, and the peace that I find here keeps me happy. I feel relaxed being in these rooms. In my work, I hear loud music all day. As a choreographer, I choreograph to all the music that I hear. This can be very exciting and tiring all at the same time,” Papa said.

Papa had her house built in 1996. She and her family moved into it in 1998. The living room has not changed at all. The great room was upgraded with all new furniture six years ago.

The formal and the informal are featured inside Papa’s home. Her living room is formal with artwork from Europe and from her travels while dancing on tour in this country. The great room is informal with comfortable furniture from Kensington in Northfield and paintings and artwork.

Papa’s living room furniture came from North Carolina. The living room has two matching sofas with two matching tables and two matching Queen wingback chairs.

“I like very balanced visual things. Even my choreography is very balanced. If there is an odd number of dancers, I am annoyed. I am that way about architecture too,” Papa said. “There is a gas fireplace in both rooms. I like gas fireplaces because they have no mess and an instant turn-on switch. The fireplace is wonderful to look at, and it makes a lovely atmosphere.”

The artwork in Papa’s living and great room reflects Papa and represents some of the stories of her life.

“On the wall is an etching of a corner piece that I bought on a U.S. tour in the South. I believe it was in Alabama,” Papa said. “There is a statue in this room that has history with me. It is a 20-inch bronze statue of me dancing the ballet ‘Abyss.’ The sculptor’s name is Victor Villarreal. He took a photo of me to make this statue. It is for sale online.”

PHOTOS of Phyllis Papa of the Atlantic City Ballet at her Galloway Township home

Contact: 609-272-7202

VJackson@pressofac.com

Twitter@ACPressJackson

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