About Eastern Connecticut Ballet
Our school was founded in 1992. Lise Reardon, an experienced dance educator, and a former dancer herself, launched Eastern Connecticut Ballet to serve students in the shoreline area and beyond. From the beginning, our school attracted talented, dedicated faculty. Those teachers developed a curriculum that provides the highest quality technical instruction at all levels of ability.
“We are delighted with the teaching and the care that the ECB instructors take. From the very youngest to the senior classes, there is an emphasis on character, modesty and poise. Young people have an opportunity to grow — both in their personality and their dance skills.” — ECB Parent
Over the years, we have welcomed thousands of young dancers to our classes: those who were committed to dance as its own reward; others who wanted to study dance as an art form; and many who chose dance as a professional career. All of these individual students have thrived in our program.
As a nonprofit organization, we also recognized our responsibility to the broader community. We wanted to raise awareness of the beauty and power of dance through education and outreach. Today we have more than 300 students enrolled and strive to make dance education available to committed students regardless of their background or means.
Why Study Ballet?
If you are considering dance classes for your child, you may be asking yourself an important question: why should a young person study classical ballet? It’s a valid question in today’s busy world when our children’s lives are crowded with activities in and out of their schools.
A dance education at ECB provides many benefits. When a child begins the study of classical ballet, she or he is following in the footsteps of dancers in a centuries-old tradition. Here are just a few of the advantages of studying ballet.
THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE:
A serious dance program transforms any student, cultivating skills that can enhance academic learning and build character.
In our increasingly sedentary society, ballet offers a great way to stay fit and improve posture. Children who embrace physical education early are more likely to stay active and healthy as adults.
INTELLECTUAL AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS:
The study of dance engages the mind, emotions, and imagination. Learning new dance steps requires memorization, attention to detail, and the ability to benefit from a teacher’s guidance.
Students learn to use dance as a form of communication, a skill that is especially valuable during the adolescent years. Dance is empowering. It builds confidence and helps young people to find their individual voices, especially when performing for a live audience.
FRIENDSHIP AND TEAMBUILDING:
As part of the corps de ballet, dancers take cues from one another and must work as a team under their teacher’s direction. They form valuable friendships outside of their school environment.
LOVE OF BEAUTY AND THE ARTS:
A dancer develops a love of beauty through an appreciation of the human form in motion and some of the greatest music ever written. Ballet promotes an understanding of three different performing arts: dance, theater, and music.
“The environment is so peaceful and comforting. It feels like home, and I never want to leave. I’m so glad to be a part of ECB.” — Student, age 12
Parents and students alike have told us that they can feel positive energy the minute they walk in our front door.
First and foremost, dancers need ample space in which to practice, to stretch, and to perform their best. They also need good lighting, comfortable temperatures, an excellent audio system, and a wardrobe of colorful costumes to inspire them as they learn to dance different roles.
Our spacious studios were designed by dancers for dancers with floor surfaces engineered to support the most demanding entrechat or grand jeté. The newly renovated 8,000-square foot facility includes four large studios, three dressing rooms (including one for boys), a study room, kitchen, and costume shop. Comfortable waiting areas for families and younger siblings help to create an atmosphere of a home away from home that is so important as dancers return year after year.