OJ has been taking ballet for six years, Skoshi A for five years and Special K is in her second year. The school is very small, with only one studio and four instructors, but that is also part of it's charm. The instructors are truly invested in turning out beautifully poised young dancers and one can honestly tell how much they love and care about our children.
Our experience in the Nutcracker has brought home for me again how blessed we are to have found our little studio. Rehearsals for the Nutcracker have been at the prestigious Maryland Youth Ballet. It is an impressive school that has dancers dancing for major companies across the United States, including American Ballet Theater, Joffery Ballet, and The New York Ballet. Tuition to attend this school at an advanced level, rivals tuition to attend academic schools, and the children are expected to devote the better part of their evenings and weekends in dance classes. Not to mention the 45 minute drive time on a good day.
We are 100% satisfied with the studio our girls are dancing with now. I was amazed at the improvement OJ has made. She has always been a beautiful dancer, but the level of skill she has achieved floored me. Skoshi A has also greatly improved in skill and general ballet knowledge. Around the house she is a gangly, unladylike, goofball, but put her in a ballet leotard and she turns into this breathtakingly graceful flower. By far, it was Katerina's improvement I was most impressed with. Last spring, during her recital, I was wondering if ballet was really the activity for her. She seemed to love going to class, but her performance during the recital was borderline comical. Her teachers seemed to think she was in her own little world and liked to do her own thing (that's an understatement!) but that was okay with them. They reassured me that if she really loved ballet she'd come around and get more serious about it as she grew older. They were right. She did a lovely job in class this week. She followed instructions, answered questions, volunteered to lead and worked on correcting mistakes diligently. I'm looking forward to seeing my girls continue growing in grace and poise.