Hello everyone and welcome to LABA. I thought I would try something different since many of you struggle with multiple orientation commitments at the beginning of the semester. I wondered if telling you about the studio and answering questions online might be a great way to share information with more people. This way you can read about my philosophy and listen to advice in your own time and ask questions that will benefit others as well. This blog is a great way for me to talk to you about how the studio runs, how and why we teach what we do and how you can benefit from everything that is going on at LABA, so stay tuned.
LABA offers some of the best training in Los Angeles. We have a thriving ballet program and are able to train dancers all the way through high school to graduation. Many of our graduates have gone on to professional careers in dance. Our strong contemporary curriculum offers Jazz, contemporary dance, tap and hip hop which makes us able to train dancers in multiple genres. We also have blossoming Adult ballet program where all ballet lovers can find camaraderie, excellent instruction with a varied schedule with live pianists for most classes.
As we enter our 7th year in Encino we have experienced a surge in enrollment. We have established a system for our Ballet Grades 1-4 students and the way they will attend class. As in the past, students in grades 1-3 are required to take 2 classes per week and in grade 4 & 5 3 classes per week are required. Once placed in the level you must come at the assigned class time. Grade 1 foundation has also been established for little dancers coming out of the Primary level to accommodate the new age recommendations for the RAD syllabus. For Grade 1 Foundation Grade 1 and 2 you may have options for schedules but for Grade 3 and up the children will be placed in appropriate levels and in groupings designed and assigned by our teachers and approved by me. Each class meets twice per week in the same grouping for the year. This is of great benefit to our young dancers. Teachers (who teach in teams) have the same dancers each week all year. They will co-operate with each-other as to their classes progress and what the class needs to accomplish. This also eliminates the problem of some classes becoming over filled. The class size is strictly limited based on the age and temperament of the class at each level and will be balanced in size when it comes to grouping them for evaluations in the spring and the performances in June. Once a dancer has been placed in a class it is is VERY IMPORTANT that they attend their assigned class regularly. Make-ups are simply that and are not a substitute for attending your set classes regularly. If you did not get the class that you wanted because it was full, consult with Miss Andrea or the front desk and we will try to find you a suitable option. You can also wait list your child for a class if there are no spots left in your first choice of class.
Dancers in Grade 6 and up are grouped according to their commitment level and their ability level. Dancers in Advanced level ballet classes can have a 5-6 day per week commitment. Consistency is critical to developing healthy strong dancers. Conditioning classes, reportoire, and private coaching is needed to maintain the level needed to pass the annual examinations and move to the next level.
Jazz and Contemporary levels fall in line with our ballet placement. Tap levels are established by the head of the tap department and the tap teaching staff.
Remember that the first few weeks of dance and school are always difficult. Car pools, pick up and drop off efficiency and fatigue (of parents and students) can often seem overwhelming. DON’T PANIC. Our staff knows that after a few weeks things will go more smoothly and hair will be up, leotard colors will be correct and you WILL find a parking spot.
All the children will be evaluated by our staff to make sure the level they are in is correct and appropriate and they are poised to have a successful dance year.
Classes will move slowly at the beginning of the session. Establishing the class rules, expectations, and demanding correct technique from the very first lesson is very important to long term success.
Students in Grade 5 will be evaluated for pointe in our pre pointe class.
LABA is looking for dancers who are committed. We want people who show up consistently and work hard. We are passionate about the art form and we want our clients to be too.
Remember, a crock pot is better than a pressure cooker. Meaning a dancer that is developed slowly turns out better than a dancer that is rushed and pressured!
Please have your children change into their dance shoes once they are inside the studio. Dirt and grease from outside can damage our floors and make them slippery. If you have worn your dance booties outside do not wear them into the classrooms. Also please make sure that your child has something to change into when they leave the studio. Put on sweat pants, shorts or a skirt before you head to the car. Cover up and keep the muscles warm.
I’d like to finish this post with the following thoughts.
The lost and found is located in the girls dressing room.
In order to be environmentally responsible we do NOT sell bottles water at LABA. Please bring your own bottle and fill it from the tap or from the refrigerator. We also collect dozens of water bottles left behind every year. Please check in the cupboard next to the refrigerator or in the girls dressing room if you have lost your bottle.
Read the newsletter or the e mails that are sent out frequently and it will help you keep track of what is going on.
Communicate with us when your child is sick or away from class.
Join our Los Angeles Ballet Academy private FB page, it is just for us. Its a great place to get reminders and information. You have to apply and be approved to the group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/119483680327/
Utilize the Jackrabbit Parent Portal to pay your bill online and save waiting time at the front desk.
All students will be evaluated by the directors in November and then eligible students grade 1 and above who meet the criteria will be offered RAD ballet examinations and presentation classes in the spring.
I do not enjoy the current trend of pushing young bodies to do things before they are mature enough. Over time this can backfire and cause damage emotionally and physically to talented dancers. LABA nurtures dancers, does not allow them to do things that will harm their growing bodies. We push our dancers to be their best but practice integrity with young talent. I want them to grow up to be strong and healthy dancers as well as happy humans. 🙂
The June show is open to ALL LABA students. Sign ups for these shows will begin in December.
So lets get started and enjoy the dance.