A Fruitvale woman has turned her passion for dance into a business, offering classical ballet lessons from her home studio.
With 17 years of Royal Academy of Dance training under Trail instructor Carol Bonin and on-the-job instructor experience, Danielle Labelle has seized this opportunity to give back to the community with a skill she’s honed from a young age.
“It’s always been in the back of my mind, it’s something that I spent my entire childhood, adolescent years and after high school years doing,” said Labelle from her warmly lit studio in the basement of her Fruitvale home. “That was my life, it was six days a week, five hours a day.”
The new mom stumbled upon the opportunity to pursue her childhood dream of opening up her own studio when her new home was large enough to house Studio Labelle Dance.
The ballet studio for children three to 10 years old is a chance to bring more arts to the village, as well as provide options for young girls or boys in need of an extracurricular activity close to home.
Her small classes offer structured lessons that focus on technique but are also fun, with an end of class dress up.
“Dance nourishes the child’s concentration, the ability to think and react fast and discipline for the future years,” explained Labelle. “It influences positively the child’s behavior at school and at home. Dancing is a wonderful way to get physical activity, discipline and advance the skills of the mind and it also helps encourage the child’s unique individuality.”
Not only does ballet influence coordination and musical rhythm understanding but it also helps kids develop social skills in a supportive environment, according to Labelle.
“When dancers are on stage and applauded it’s so exciting and it does something for their confidence, even at three years old,” she said. “All of a sudden they realize that they have something special that they want to share.”
Labelle hopes to also offer “mommy and me” classes and a class for adults looking to learn or improve their ballet skills.
“Parents don’t make enough time for themselves, you know, they’ll put their kids in dance but they deserve an hour where they get out of the house and treat themselves to the culture of ballet.”
The 30-year-old is also reaching out to community groups or schools interested in offering a dance program and has already landed a creative movement dance program with Little Scholar’s Montessori Pre-school in East Trail.
She in no way wants to take away from the other existing studios but hopes the addition of her studio will only add to the local dance community and options available to residents.
Labelle is accepting registration at the time. For more information on Studio Labelle Dance, visit www.studiolabelledance.com