Welcome to LABA

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2015 fall session at LABA that began August 15th.  I thought I would try something different this year 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 talking 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 5th year in Encino we have over the last 4 years experienced a surge in enrollment.   We opened our new dance room (studio C)  with the opportunity to split the classes up into smaller groups.  We have established a system for our Grade 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.   This year we have divided the classes up. For Grade 1 and 2 you have 2 different options for schedules and for Grade 3 and up the children have been placed in appropriate levels and in 2 separate groupings designed and assigned by our teachers and approved by me.  ie: Grade 3 A & Grade 3 B.  Each class meets twice per week in the same grouping for the year.   I feel this is of great benefit to our young dancers.  Teachers (who teach in teams) will have the same dancers every 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 your child 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 Laurie Weber or e mail Miss Andrea 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.

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 checked  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 the blue bench.

We collect dozens of water bottles every year.  Please check in the cupboard next to the refrigerator if you have lost your bottle.

Read the newsletter it is sent out bi monthly and 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/

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 young 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 and is scheduled for June 4th and 5th 2016.  Sign ups for these shows will begin in December.

So lets get started and enjoy the dance.

This is an update of an earlier post.  Please have a read and do not hesitate to ask me any questions you may have.    We are looking forward to a great year.

Miss Andrea

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