Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance

 

About Our School

Our school has been in existence since 1957. The emphasis of the school is classical ballet. A dancer with a good classical ballet foundation is able to learn and execute any other form of dance with ease. The subjects taught in our school are:

Classical Ballet     Pointe     Tap     Jazz

Dancers on the BarreIn addition, we are the only dance school in Lake Charles with a Pilates program, a must for any serious ballet school. Every major ballet company in the nation has a Pilates program. A dance school must have a Pilates program to be considered a quality school. For the safety of your child, make sure that the Pilates instructor is New York Certified. To receive this certification requires over six hundred hours of training in one of six training centers located in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia or Atlanta. Watch out! Some schools are using people claiming to be Pilates instructors who have studied for one “week-end” and claim to be certified with bogus certification from a health spa. Ask if the Pilates instructor is “New York” certified, what center trained them, and who issued their certificate.

We teach students from age three through adults. All students in our school must study ballet. The goal of this rule is to end up with happy teenagers and students who practice a useful art that will provide many opportunities for them in the future. The other dance forms are optional. The ballet training we have given our teens makes many high school and college activities possible for them. It makes exciting performance opportunities available to them, and they end up with beautiful posture and poise.

Before I describe our curriculum, I want to warn parents to NEVER put their child in an hour long class in which they are going to study ballet, tap, acrobat, ping pong, and charm. Yes, I am being sarcastic, because innocent parents are ripped off by unscrupulous schools who care more about their earnings than the students’ welfare. These “combination” classes end up being periods in which the children dance five minutes of each subject and change their shoes most of the period. Each subject needs a 45 minutes class.

In our school three and four year olds are put in our “preparation for Kindergarten” class. This class prepares students with an emphasis on: learning to pay attention, learning to take directions, movement coordination, and spacial concepts. They also learn that moving to music with friends is so much fun!

At age four our students are introduced to ballet technique and we begin to teach them the French terminology which makes up the language of ballet. By the time our students are ten years old they know their French ballet terminology. Four and five year olds are taught that the steps they do must be done with correct technique.

At six or seven the dancers are allowed to add tap lessons should they wish to do so.

At eight or nine they are allowed to add jazz lessons should they wish to do so.

At ten years old our students are well trained and are ready for “pointe” or “toe” dancing. Sometimes we feel that it will be more beneficial for a child to wait until eleven or twelve to begin pointe. We do not ever put our students on pointe before the age of ten. To put children on pointe before their bones are ready can injure them.

As you can see, in our school, we do not put small children in as many classes as we can convince their parents to choose. We add to the child’s curriculum as the child is ready. All students study ballet and they are allowed to add other subjects as they progress.

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