A Love for Ballet...
I chose the Dance Academy because I knew my daughter would be taught the proper techniques of ballet. I felt that was more important than just being on a stage in a glittery costume doing the same dance step over and over. She has learned so much in the few years she has been with the Academy, and has formed a love for ballet that I never knew a 7yr old could!
A Family Affair...
My daughter was at a storefront dance school that all my friends were using. She would complain that the other girls were running around and not listening to the instructor. So, after two recitals, major alterations to expensive costumes, new tights, new shoes and a show where none of the dancers (especially the older girls) were even dancing in sync. Not to mention, they worked on this routine almost all year, I was a little more than curious as to what other schools had to offer. I interviewed many schools and they all seemed to put emphasis on their recital (some were not quick to admit it). Finally, I called the Dance Academy and Lisa answered all of my questions, but what impressed me the most was that she educated me on developmental stages of dance, and the importance of learning proper technique year round which allows students to learn choreography in a short period of time, avoids injuries and increases ability from year to year. That discipline, order, respect, personal responsibility, teaching theater readiness, and self-regulated behavior are all part of the learning process.
The instructors in each level are friendly and experienced. In addition they are professional dancers so that the children have a professional ballerina/dancer to emulate. They use positive reinforcement without overdoing praise and they correct children with confidence and care. The Dance Academy staff has always worked with my family to support us. I have a thousand examples of times they have supported us. The one that sticks out the most is while two of my children were enrolled in the Summer Starz program. There was a death in the family AND one of the children was hospitalized. The Dance Academy staff was very supportive and caring during these difficult times. What amazed me the most was the care and support of the other children in the Summer Starz program. They welcomed my children back after these challenging times with such love, concern, and encouragement. I really couldn't have dreamed of a more positive experience for them to enter back into, but it was The Dance Academy that fosters this kind of environment and draws this type of child to their programs.
Dance is such an important part of my children's lives. The Dance Academy promotes each child's individual style and artistry while maintaining the proper technique. My son is enrolled in ballet and in Summer Starz and absolutely loves every minute of it. The Academy has treated him like a perfect gentleman with dignity, respect. His intrinsic value and confidence has greatly increased, and he has improved his balance in other sports! My daughter dances from her heart and her technique and artistry is improving every year.
I've helped backstage with quick changing of costumes, as well as performed. I really enjoy working with all of the children in all areas of The Academy, especially the teenagers who are confident, sweet, friendly, patient, supportive, and helpful. Working back stage is a high-energy, fast-paced environment. Lisa and her staff are always reliable, consistent, organized, and confident. What makes performance time most enjoyable is that what is going to happen is predictable.
Now, several years later, my family has experienced many of the performing opportunities The Academy offers. I could care less that I don't have a million trophies on the wall and bins full of costumes and a recital with a ton of bells and whistles. I can say that my children are learning how to prepare, dance, and behave in a professional, disciplined, and respectful way in the theater and they are getting good character development. These are skills that they will take with them throughout their entire lives. I couldn't ask for a more perfect school.
Parent & Student
An Inspiring Experience...
I am so grateful to have been a part of an academy that takes the art of dance so seriously. I wish I had found this school earlier in my dance years. Everyone has been so welcoming and they have made my experience at this school an inspiring one. I'll never forget this place. I've learned so much!
A Love of the Arts...
Five years have passed since our daughter started taking summer ballet lessons at The Dance Academy. We had originally signed her up to keep her focused and busy...we never imagined the impact of the training she received then and over the course of the next several years. Kristin is motivated, determined, and focused...all of which is fostered by the classes and instructors at The Dance Academy. Not only is our nine-year-old able to recognize the value of ballet in all styles of dance, but she has developed a love of all the arts and can discuss aspects of technique and artistry in professional work. Her desire to learn and perfect various movements...of which she knows the official names (she is still teaching us the terminology!) can be attributed to the professionally trained staff. Lisa Bibeau and all of the dancers take an active role in training students of all ages and abilities. Performances showcase all levels integrated...it is a delight to watch a beginner ballet student with a level 5 dancer. Not only are audiences entertained, but younger performers are encouraged and inspired by those with more experience. Staff members greet students and families with the utmost respect and enthusiasm. Students are expected to follow routines and guidelines, and they do so because of the professional example modeled by all in the studio. Whether it's ballet, tap, jazz, or summer workshops, we are confident that Kristin is receiving the best training available. Perhaps she will pursue a career with dance, or maybe enjoy it as recreation, or recognize the value of such in others' work. Regardless, The Dance Academy is helping to instill a sense of responsibility and love of the arts in our daughter, and for that we are incredibly thankful.
Kate & Gary Lavoie
Always a Joy...
The Dance Academy has given me self-confidence to dance freely. I like how the teachers focus on your mistakes and show and tell you how to fix them. When we do the moves correctly and we've been working on them they congratulate us. Going to each lesson is always a joy because the combinations are different and exciting. Over the past five years, I have also made lots of new friends. In the future, I hope to continue to perform in front of audiences on stage. Thank you Dance Academy!
Kristin Lavoie, age 9
Dancing for Family and Friends...
I love the Dance Academy for my daughter! There is no place like it around here that I am aware of. I just went to my niece's dance recital and it reminded me of all the many reasons that we love The Dance Academy so much! I don't understand why they don't realize that it is not about them - it is about the children. They have you go pay money and then the teachers are performing every third dance. I don't want to see them dance. My niece was only in one number at the beginning of the show. At The Dance Academy, they have the young ones perform for their family and friends here at The Dance Academy and it makes it nice for them and their families. After my niece performed, she came out to sit with my sister and she fell asleep. She was so exhausted that she slept through all of the music and applause. It is such a long day for the little ones to have to sit through, and they had two shows, one on friday night, and one on sunday afternoon. If you ask my daughter about her cousin's recital, she will tell you that she did not see one pointed toe in the whole show, but to be fair I must say we didn't see the whole show, we left at intermission.
The Joy of Movement...
The Dance Academy has been a part of my life for 22 years now and has instilled in me a lifelong love of all dance forms. From the age of three and my introduction to the joy of movement, through my intensive ballet training as a teenager, to the present, in which I choose to take classes at the Academy for the pure fun of it, my experience has been extraordinary. But beyond providing an exceptional dance education, The Dance Academy taught me to approach every endeavor with discipline and commitment. The academy staff always offered positive feedback, but never allowed me to settle. I learned to celebrate my accomplishments, yet continue working toward the next goal. My Academy education shaped my work ethic and has served me well beyond the world of dance.
I am writing to commend you on the quality of your beautiful school. As you are aware, our daughter recently began studying at The Dance Academy with the double problems of needing to find a new ballet school that would help prepare her for college dance auditions, while respecting her need to recover from ankle surgery. Although ballet is not her primary goal as a dancer, she has studied in other pre-professional programs, and at the Boston Conservatory summer intensives. Giulia understands that ballet technique informs all other forms of dance, and has always approached her ballet study with fierce determination.
As parents, my husband and I were first impressed with you,the director, personally. You are, competent and professional, and astonishingly, knew exactly about the physical problem our daughter was enduring. You did not insist that we "sign up" right away for a full course load. In fact, you encouraged Giulia to try things out beforehand. We also did encounter the "not invented here" attitude that would have been a real blow to our daughter who needs to keep positive in the face of what she knows are demanding and rigorous days of preparation, and her own physical limitations.
As the director, you have also set the tone for your school. The Dance Academy has an open, non-competitive, yet highly professional atmosphere. From the front desk, to the moms in the halls, and then on to the teachers and into the classroom; the enthusiasm coupled with the focus and dedication of everybody we have met all encourage the wonderful results that are evident in the classroom.
Giulia cannot say enough about the quality of your students, the kindness she has experienced form her classmates, teachers and you personally. It has gone a log way to helping her heal, in body and spirit. As I watch her become stronger and more confident each day, I am grateful that she has found The Dance Academy at this stage of her journey.
It always amazes me when I watch the students of The Dance Academy perform. It's not just their mastery of dancing but the shear joy they seem to feel about being up on stage performing for family, friends and strangers. There is such a wonderful balance of disipline, fun and an extraordinary self confidence in each and every dancer.