Established in 2004, Once Upon a Ballet, is a locally owned and operated dance school with a longstanding reputation for quality customer service as well as its highly reputable dance program based on original curriculum written by its founder, Allyson Lewis. Ms. Lewis originated the program offering preschool ballet classes that incorporated literature, classical music, costumes and props into each and every class. During its opening session, Ms Lewis taught 65 students, and by the end of that school year, OUAB had over 120 students in its programs. Today many of her original students still study in the school and she is delighted that Once Upon a Ballet is often a child’s first exposure to the beautiful world of ballet and dance. “If we can instill in them that dance is a joyful art form and inspire creativity and curiosity in all of our students, then we have done a good thing!” Whether we inspire them to be ballerinas, musicians, writers, designers, teachers, or scientists, its always exciting to watch them grow and learn!
The faculty at OUAB is chosen based on two criteria. A fantastic background and education in dance as well as a genuine repoire with children. If candidates meet both our artistic criteria and their dance education meet our prerequisites of either extensive study under a professional ballet company or a college degree in the field, the candidates then audition with a class of students to watch their interaction with them as well. Upon hiring, teachers then go through a formal 40+ hour training process in our specific curriculum and teaching philosophy.
The OUAB studios on Long Point Road boast 1200 square feet of sprung dance floors to ensure a safe dance surface. Once Upon a Ballet’s dance floors act as the “protective gear” for dancers. Our O’Mara dance floors are a patented design made from maple hardwood, elevated on shock absorbing closed cell foam blocks and then customized with a slip resistant finish. In addition, the school has its own blackbox classroom with marley dance flooring, which transforms into a 95 seat thrust-style theater.
Our class sizes are limited to ensure each ballerina receives attention and care in their instruction. Your child’s class is planned to the minute filled with ballet activities that enhance the dancer’s development from posture and alignment, balance and motor coordination, spatial awareness, use of imagery, teamwork (Corps de ballet), poise and of course, fundamental ballet technique. It is our goal not only to expose these students to the magic of ballet performance but to instill in them wonderful classroom habits that will help them in any academic environment.
As an educator for 23 years and a mom, I can truly appreciate the utmost care you and your family have taken in choosing enrichment programming for your children. We will always strive to make Once Upon a Ballet and our sister school, the Musical Theater Center, a positive experience for your dancer and performer by making our learning environment nurturing, engaging, and fun. I have had the joy of teaching many of our students as preschoolers and seeing them grow through our programs into high school. What a wonderful place to come to work each day! Each student at our school is unique and my faculty and I find it a fulfilling challenge to bring to all of our students an experience that is positive and all they have dreamed of and to their parents, a program that meets and exceeds expectations. If there are any questions we can answer, please do not hesitate to call upon us!
Allyson Provost Lewis, Founder