From the very beginning, co-directors Alison and Bobbie Jaramillo are involved in student development beginning at Ballet 1 (in fact Ali teaches the earliest level which is Dance with Me beginning at age 18 months). In many schools, the co-directors rely on less experienced teachers to handle the the Primary (Ballet 1-3) and Intermediate (Ballet 4, 5) levels of ballet. At LBA, we realize that how a student starts his or her training is everything! We watch carefully to make sure that students are developing pure classical technique from the very beginning.
We train anyone that is willing to learn. Most pre-professional ballet schools have auditions to find the right sort of body or would not consider training some dancers who don't fit the right mold. The passion for ballet does not always come in the perfect body. It is so exciting to see the kid who is not the most naturally talented, the kid that was a late starter, or the child who was really awkward become an amazing dancer.
We may not know you right away but if you are coming to classes, performances, and events, we will get to know you. And then you are family. We have literally watched so many of our kids grow up from crazy (or even sometimes naughty) 3-year-olds into beautiful young women and men. When the kids leave us for college, professional ballet schools, or companies, we keep in touch with our "children" and we often miss their parents as well!
LBA is a performance-based school meaning that committed dancers have lots of opportunities to participate in Littleton Youth Ballet productions, outreaches, benefits, and possibly some ballet competitions. Dancers in Ballet 3 and higher have the chance to perform four times a year on a real stage. These dancers have the chance to develop stage awareness and presence, experience how a ballet is created, and as they grow, even the chance to create a leading or supporting role in a ballet. This early performance experience sets LBA dancers far ahead of their peers who may only perform 1 or 2 times per year and then sometimes only as extras or corps de ballet. We manage to do this while having Sundays off from rehearsals to maintain a work/life balance.
For some dancers who want to be professional or have achieved a certain level, we offer coaching for variations. This individualized attention is important. We work hard to develop each dancer to his or her highest potential. We also bring in guest artists to teach master classes for our dancers who in turn become equally invested in the dancers' development.
Many of our dancers have the chance to participate as mentors to younger students, meet new friends through our performance meet and greets, talk to elderly guests at a community outreach performance, or even meet new friends through festivals, benefits, summer, intensives, parades, etc.
And lastly, we keep in mind that we are helping each child strive to be the best person they can be.
At Littleton Ballet Academy, we are family. We hope to meet you soon.
Dancers taking a class with NYCB ballerina Tiler Peck at the Vail International Dance Festival
Dancer Lauren Vogel talking with a guest after a community outreach performance.
Dancers greeting a young guest after The Wizard of Oz at Lone Tree Arts Center.
Dancers taking part in Light the Night to support Colorado Ballet principal dancer Francisco Estevez and the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society