A Note from the Director

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Read What Parents Have to Say About ABAA!

We were fortunate to find Ashley Ballet when she opened her doors in 2012. We knew very early on that this was the place for our daughter. She has thrived and improved her confidence during the past seven years. The instructors are amazing, supportive, and encouraging. The older dancers have served as role models for our daughter. We knew it was the right choice early on when all our daughter wanted to do was be at the studio all of the time!

Our daughter is shy and introverted but the community and ballet education at Ashley Ballet has allowed our daughter to thrive and push her boundaries. The studio has further solidified her desire to dance professionally and to one day teach ballet to young children.

We are extremely fortunate and thankful we found Ashley Ballet early on in our daughter's dance education. Since the age of 7, our now 13 year old has continually had a positive, supportive and strong dance education. She has found role models in older dancers and her teachers, and ABAA is instrumental in her growth as a dancer, a friend, a teacher, and role model for others.

ABAA gives my child the dance education I was looking for, serious study with kindness and patience that helps my daughter grow in skills and enjoy the beauty of ballet. She has learned to work hard and be disciplined to improve in her skills and be able to enjoy performing with confidence. We love ABAA!
I like that ABAA sets a high, clear standard for the art they teach. The teachers demonstrate real belief in my daughters' ability to learn and to do it well. My daughter is learning a real skill. The clarity of standard and instruction creates an environment for real learning.

Our family chose ABAA because our daughter was looking for classic ballet training and more opportunities to perform than what her previous studio could provide. We stayed because of of the high level of instruction, caring teachers and a culture that supports and inspires our dancer. ABAA is blessed to have a lovely group of older dancers who were incredibly welcoming and supportive when our daughter joined the group. ABAA has provided our daughter with the opportunity to have friends who share the same level of dedication and passion for dance. She looks forward to the time and experiences they share.

ABAA focuses on the whole dancer and provides opportunities for our dancer to learn more about taking care of herself through the Mind and Body program. The lives of teenagers can be complicated and emotional. Knowing there are other adults helping our daughter navigate through this time is important to us.

Our family has been so pleased with the teachers and staff at ABAA. They have challenged our daughter without bringing her down. They have pushed her physically and creatively. The teachers know and appreciate our daughter; her strengths, her weaknesses and her passion for dance.

Because of my own Vaganova ballet training, I had a high bar when looking for a technically strong classical ballet program and Ashley Ballet met those expectations. What keeps us at Ashley Ballet is the wonderful atmosphere where the students encourage each other and the teachers create a positive learning environment. I had the opportunity to work backstage at the Nutcracker and felt first hand this incredibly supportive atmosphere. I am so glad that my daughter is in a ballet school where she sees the “big girls” work hard and encourage each other. We are thrilled that we are now part of the Ashley Ballet family.

The staff at ABAA is incredible - each and every teacher is a highly skilled dancer and dance instructor - and the environment at ABAA is welcoming and inspiring. My daughters are taught every technical aspect of ballet at each level while simultaneously learning about the art and beauty of ballet. Additionally, the other students in the studio are kind and approachable as are their parents. ABAA has created an absolutely wonderful environment, and you can feel it as soon as you walk into the studios.

ABAA has increased by tenfold confidence in both of my daughters. ABAA has instilled a love of dance and performance in them, two girls who are relatively shy. They made new friends immediately at the studio, and I credit ABAA for helping them adjust to their new home state.

We have really liked every single teacher and staff member at ABAA. They are all professional, warm and helpful. The teaching is phenomenal from a technical and artistic perspective as well as a personal one. We feel like each teacher cares about the growth of both of our daughters at each level, and they all provide terrific feedback.

ABAA is constantly expanding its offerings to its students, kids and adults. It is an institution that consistently tries to improve and capitalize on its success, for the benefits of the dancers and their families. The number of performance opportunities is also terrific. It is a studio that is not complacent - it is always trying to outdo itself!

[The teachers and staff at ABAA are] extremely high quality with attention to detail; very kind and positive instruction while still holding the dancers to a high standard.

Ashley Ballet is such a lovely place to dance at. They are so talented, professional and organized. My daughter has gained so much confidence in addition to developing her dance skills. My favorite part about Ashley Ballet is how dance is the focus not costumes and tutus.

Parent Testimonials

Ashley Ballet is such a lovely place to dance at. They are so talented, professional and organized. My daughter has gained so much confidence in addition to developing her dance skills. My favorite part about Ashley Ballet is how dance is the focus not costumes and tutus.

ABAA Graduate Testimonials

When I decided to pursue a career in dance, I tried out nearly every option the Twin Cities had to offer (and there are countless)- but I have to say that making the decision to train at ABAA has made all the difference. Since the moment I first walked through that door I felt welcome, valued, and genuinely invested in, looking forward to class each day because I knew I would be challenged, learn new things, and enjoy myself. I got to experience so much that I had never before been exposed to; exponentially expanding my understanding of art and training my eye to see beauty even in unusual places.

On graduating from ABAA in January of 2017, I moved to Brazil to accept a trainee position with Ballet Magnificat, later being promoted to Operations Manager and getting to develop my skills outside the studio while still working very closely with ballet and dancers. I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have received a dance education that inspired me to work harder and gave me the tools to reach higher, enabling some of my biggest dreams to come true, both at the barre and beyond.

I am Ruth Sevlie, I am seventeen years old and I danced at ABAA for six years. I am currently dancing with the Sarasota Ballet as a trainee and as a part of the program, I will receive many opportunities to work and perform with the Sarasota Ballet Studio Company and even on occasion the opportunity to work with the main Sarasota Ballet Company.

Without my training at ABAA, I wouldn't have become the dancer I am today. Dancing at ABAA is were I really fell in love with the art of ballet and grew as an artist, person, and dancer. I learned countless things from the staff at ABAA that I will carry into the rest of my life and I feel so honored and blessed to have trained in such a wonderful atmosphere with such great instruction. Ashley and the rest of the faculty gave me everything I needed to move into this next part of my ballet career and I will forever be grateful to them for all the lessons they taught me and opportunities they gave me.

I would have to say the most important lesson I learned at ABAA is that ballet is a journey. It is not going to be easy but if you work hard and push beyond what you think you are capable of you can achieve things that you never thought possible. I would have to say my fondest memory at ABAA was during my last year when I had the honor of performing the role of Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker; it was such a special experience. My goal for the future is to dance with a big ballet company and get to do what I love for a living.

I am in my junior year at Butler University, where I am involved in residence life as a Resident Assistant for first year students, am running a board of Student Government as the Speaker of the Senate, serving on the Sexual Assault Prevention Taskforce with University administrators, and working towards my degree in Secondary Education. Though my current involvement does not involve the arts directly, the skills I developed and the lessons I learned from dancing prepared me in every way to take on these leadership positions.

One of the most important lessons that I learned at ABAA was that hard work and dedication will help you accomplish anything. Whether that was landing a dream role in a ballet or winning Student Government elections, your passion and the work you put in is what will make the greatest difference.

The most fun I had at ABAA was whenever I was on stage with all of my best friends. There's no feeling like it, seeing your “family” doing what they love most and watching all your hard work pay off around you.

My fondest memory from my years at ABAA were the show circles before any given performance. Before every show, we circled up and went through our “pre show rituals” which always gave me that extra boost of confidence I needed before going on stage. There’s just something about being surrounded by all your best friends and your support system that makes that moment so special.

Upon graduation, I am currently planning on going into graduate school for Student Affairs. I do, however, also hope to return to dancing on a recreational level at some point.

Something that Miss Ashley always said that has stuck with me is “go somewhere to get somewhere.” Although this was typically in reference to our port de bras or traveling across the stage, I also found this applicable in every day life. In order to get somewhere, or to reach a goal, you sometimes have to take the long way and put in the work to get to your final destination or reach your goal.

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