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October 4, 2010

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October 4, 2010

I asked my husband to find a place where my daughter could learn ballet. He made some calls and talked to the owner of Laurel Ballet. He was very impressed at everything she told him our daughter would learn about dance and live at Laruel. It has been 7 yrs and her two sisters dance now also. The girls all dance beautiful, but more important , they are exposed to teachers that care so much for them and teach strong morals and self esteem. They have made wonderful friends and feel part of a family at Laurel.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The training of my daughters.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

October 3, 2010

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October 3, 2010

Five years ago I was looking for a ballet school for my daughters to attend. It so happened, at the time, that a gentleman was doing work at our house and brought up the subject of ballet when he saw that we had 2 daughters. He stated that his daughter attended Laurel Ballet for several years and had gone on to dance with a professional ballet company. He raved about how well she was prepared with ballet technique and how the instructors genuinely cared for the girls. I decided to try the school and have been very pleased with their instruction. The girls have become very disciplined and motivated as they continue to grow and learn ballet. They have been told, "Don't be ordinary, but be Extraordinary!!"

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Very Positive Experience

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

October 1, 2010

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October 1, 2010

I am a mother of four daughters who have all had the privilege of attending Laurel Ballet. When my oldest daughter was four I thought I would fulfill my motherly obligation of allowing my daughter to "try" dance. Why not ballet? I thought, I could avoid all that jazzy, tappy stuff plus ballet may help her in sports, I had hoped my kids would eventually play. Well, seven years later my ex-Olympians are still dancing. Who knew! From my daughters 1st class she was hooked and I was as well. While observing my daughter in class I remembered thinking this is probably the closest thing to New York ballet I could ever hope to find in Greensburg, PA. I couldn't believe the quality of teaching coming from such a humble environment. It's original building was not fancy or showy but focused on what mattered, educating young girls in ballet technique. Still today, ballet continues to be an extension of my childrens education. The classes they attend are both physically and mentally demanding. The instructors expect a strong work ethic and with such a depth of education and experience, it's not by accident that Laurel Ballet performances are of exceptional quality. Each performance wether it's the annual Nutcracker or Spring performance I walk away thinking, they will never top that one, yet they do! I still remember watching the 1st years performances and thinking the older dancers must be guest professionals. Only later to read in the program that they were merely 8th & 9th graders. Wow! Evenmore, to see a sophomore in high school as Sugar Plum is really amazing. Stumbling upon Laurel Ballet was the best mistake I ever made. I couldn't imagine where my daughters would be without it. Probably lost on some soccer field. With todays financial strains and demands I only hope our family as well as others in the Greensburg community can continue to be graced with it's presence.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughters attend Laurel Ballet

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 30, 2010

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September 30, 2010

I have been dancing with Laurel Ballet for almost twelve years and love every moment spent at the beautiful studio. The technical and artistic focus at Laurel distinguish it from any other local ballet school. One aspect I truly appreciate is the opportunity to perform a variety of full length classical and contemporary ballets including the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Firebird, and many others. During each session, I am exposed to many dance styles aside from ballet, too, such as jazz, character/folk, modern, and contemporary. Everyday I am challenged to improve my technique and encouraged to reach new heights artistically at Laurel Youth Ballet.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My training at Laurel has taken me to professional companies including Houston Ballet, Ballet Met Columbus, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, for summer intensive programs, and I strongly believe the school has positively influenced my academic integrity.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 30, 2010

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September 30, 2010

When my eldest daughter was 5, I was looking for a dance school that would teach technique rather than get students ready for a recital. It was then that I was introduced by a friend to Laurel Ballet. I got so much more than what I was looking for! My daughter not only was taught proper ballet tech, but she gained confidence, discipline, learned commitment, and developed true friendships. A year later, I enrolled my younger daughter at age 3. Twelve years later my younger daughter is still dancing with LYBPC. The memories that have been made at Laurel are our fondest. Although my older daughter no longer dances, the life lessons she learned at Laurel will always remain a part of her. The excellent staff teaches these girls about commitment, and discipline. They learn musicality, an appreciation of art, and a love for dance. The experience they had dancing with guest male dancers and a full symphony orchestra is immeasurable! I am so grateful that my daughters have been a part of something so wonderful!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my daughters' everyday lives

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the beautiful performances LYB produces, especially the annual production of Nutcracker, which is performed in conjunction with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

truly dedicated!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be able to include the symphony with every performance!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 30, 2010

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September 30, 2010

As a teacher in a different discipline, I had a preteen student who was involved in ballet through Laurel Youth Ballet. Her maturity and discipline impressed me greatly as did her love for Laurel when she spoke of it. When my young daughter was old enough to begin ballet, I researched local options and determined that Laurel would provide a solid education in classical ballet, with valuable performance opportunities in a supportive atmosphere. At that young age, the proper ballet terms and movements were taught, and excellence was expected, with the older girls acting as role models. In addition to the learning of the art form, a portion of class time was allotted to improvisation to classical music, with the youngest students dressed in actual ballet costumes, owned by Laurel and used in its productions! This was a thrill for the young students, and that freedom to express themselves as they chose, to the music, gave birth to a love of ballet in my daughter which grew and became a desire to express herself in ballet as a professional. Those tiny dancers envisioned themselves for a few moments as Giselle, Aurora, and many other ballet heroines; from that, they gained a love for performing onstage. That desire was fulfilled beautifully and often in Laurel Youth Ballet's annual productions of the full-length "Nutcracker" and another full-length ballet from the classical repertoire. With the partnering expertise of guest male dancers, the Laurel Ballet girls were able to dance roles in ballets which are usually reserved for professional companies in sizeable cities. To achieve that, they aspired to roles and worked hard to deserve and master them, then performed them beautifully to the applause of their family, friends, and the community. In the audience, we met many patrons who had traveled many miles to attend Laurel Youth Ballet's productions, rather than the nearest large city ballet company's, because Laurel's were so good and yet more affordable. Laurel made fine ballet available to many who would not otherwise have the means to attend such performances, and it taught its own students dedication, teamwork, courage, artistry and much more in the process. Its scenery, props, music and costuming were amazing, given the budget and the fact that it is not in the heart of a large city. No one left disappointed; rather, they were quite pleasantly astonished at what such dedicated faculty and students could achieve. These are life lessons that serve young people well beyond the years spent in ballet classes. Although Laurel's students do audition for, and attend, many prestigious summer programs, many will opt for other careers after high school, with fond memories. Our daughter realized at age 8, at Laurel, that she wished to make ballet her career. This dream was supported by the Laurel faculty and by her classmates; all were supportive and encouraging as she worked very seriously to make that possible. This involved taking extra classes at various levels, some lower than her regular level, to build stamina and to refine her technique and artistry; this was understood and allowed. When studio space was available, she could avail herself of the flooring, barres and mirror, to practice. Additional forms of dance were also offered as supplements, because today's dance companies hire well-rounded dancers who have experience in modern, jazz, character, and more. She is so grateful for those opportunities and for their unfailing confidence in her ability to achieve her goals if she worked hard and well. In her teens, she was offered the opportunity to train elsewhere in a prestigious year-round program in a large city, and, upon embarking on that new venture, she found that the artistry and confidence that she had gained at Laurel served her well. Some of her new classmates had not had the opportunity to dance in full-length ballets at their former schools, and few had had partnering opportunities such as she had had since her youngest years. Although she was far away, her Laurel classmates continued to keep in touch with beautiful cards, photos,and care packages. They were top-notch young people as well as excellent dancers. Our daughter has trained in several great ballet schools in several cities since she ventured beyond Laurel, and she is currently living her dream as a trainee with a major ballet company in one of the largest cities in the U.S., a position granted after a competitive audition in which her confidence and artistry served her well. In every training situation, faculty and artistic staff have commented on her work ethic, which was fostered at Laurel Youth Ballet as she aspired to learn ever more difficult roles, transforming herself from a toddler in a tutu improvising to ballet music, into whatever was needed to meet the demands for a particular role, always fixing her gaze on the older dancers who set such a high standard, and especially on those who had gone from Laurel Youth Ballet into professional careers. Although ballet is extremely competitive, no one at Laurel ever said, "No. It will be too challenging." They said, instead, "Try, and we will help you." Although she now dances far away, they are still supportive, knowing that giving someone a dream should be followed by keeping that dream alive. As she continues to pursue her dream, she enjoys the benefits of physical fitness, appreciation of the arts, and confidence. Laurel Youth Ballet was such an important part of her life that it is hard for her family to imagine her without the gifts that it has given her. Funding for Laurel Youth Ballet will ensure that existing programs and facilities can be maintained and even enhanced for future dancers, and other children will never have to wonder what their lives would have been like without the gifts that ballet gives, through Laurel Youth Ballet- gifts for ballet and for life. Onstage and off, and someday as a dance educator herself, she hopes to pay it forward and give those gifts to audiences and to other young children.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Education for my child, performances, and parent volunteer opportunities to support the students, as well in as my child's career path.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Respectfully request that funding be given, to maintain and enhance existing programs, facilities and outreach, so that many young people of all financial situations, and community members of all ages and backgrounds, can experience great ballet.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The supportive atmosphere surrounding the professional-caliber training, with commitment to bringing this art form to so many.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Dedicated!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Maintain and enhance existing facilities and equipment, bring in more guest dancers and teachers, provide scholarships and aid, do more outreach, offer more exercise equipment, travel to perform in broader area.

Ways to make it better...

Additional funding could have made it more accessible to even more students, either through scholarships, or more outreach.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Financial, in terms of maintaining state-of-the art facilities; such facilities need upkeep. Such training and performing could be made even more accessible to more people.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

September 29, 2010

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September 29, 2010

My daughter began dancing at Laurel just before her fifth birthday. I was looking for a pure ballet school, one that didn't require a trip to Pittsburgh several times a week. Laurel came highly recommended to me by the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. I was NOT dissapointed! The teachers are experts in their field and consumate professionals. Each chold is a gem to the teachers! The outside professionals that are hired seasonally or for summer classes are always the best. This organization is the best pure ballet school that I know.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the work performed by it's excellent and wel prepared students.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 29, 2010

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September 29, 2010

My experience as a dancer with Laurel Youth Ballet was truly extraordinary. After dancing with several other studios/academies for ten years, I attended a summer intensive at LYB and was immediately hooked by the artistic professionalism of the staff and the obvious accomplishment of the other dancers. I realized that this was a place that would challenge me to become a much better dancer in terms of technique, performance quality, and knowledge of the artform. I joined LYB the following fall and stayed for the next four years. The high-quality classes and performances are some of my fondest memories from my high school years. I found a home with the staff and fellow dancers and created friendships that will endure for the rest of my life. I've become an advocate for the arts and continue to dance and choreograph at the college level. My time at LYB will forever be a highlight of my performing years. My only regret is that I didn't join the company earlier.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Increased confidence, self awareness, poise, and elegance

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Pave their parking lot ;)

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Performing!!!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extraordinary!!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Have all it's dancers go there for free!

Ways to make it better...

i would've joined earlier.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

cost of performances.

One thing I'd also say is that...

they're traveling school performances are awesome!!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

September 29, 2010

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September 29, 2010

Each time the curtain opens for a performance of the students at Laurel Youth Ballet Performing Company, I know that it will be a high quality, professional-looking performance. My daughters have had the opportunity to learn ballet for the past 8 years from the experienced and highly skilled instructors at Laurel Ballet. I am continually impressed with their level of dedication to promoting education in the performing arts.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the confidence level and skills which my young daughters have achieved over the past 8 years.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 28, 2010

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September 28, 2010

I started with Laurel Youth Ballet at the age of three and during my several years with Laurel Youth, I have many fond memories. I vividly remember dressing up in my different costumes to perform in various ballets and all the fun we had performing. I also remember the discipline I learned and how my experiences and training taught me to appreciate and value hard work. I eventually switched to gymnastics. However, as a gymnast, I was trained by a Russian ballet master who, after coming to the US, was also the principal dancer for Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. My foundation with Laurel Youth paid off and helped me excel as a gymnast. Now that I'm an adult, I still love to dance and still strive to maintain the same technique and discipline that was instilled in me as a student at Laurel Youth.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Life - I learned the importance of discipline, working hard, and taking care of my body.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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