for the Register Citizen
TORRINGTON – Does your young child love to dance? Maybe he or she can be part of Torrington history this year.
Registration is in full swing now for all ages (about 4-12) and all levels of dance students at Torrington School of Ballet, for classes beginning in September, said Susan Szabo, TSOB director, and children’s ballet mistress.
“There will be open house registration sessions August 19 and 26 and September 5, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.,” she said. “Come meet the teachers of Torrington School of Ballet and get a tour of the building. Plus, receive 15 percent off of all your dancewear needs when you register at an open house.”
And what about being part of Torrington history?
“Our main performance during the year is ‘The Nutcracker,’” Szabo said. “We will be having ‘Nutcracker’ auditions September 21 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. And this year is an all-new ‘Nutcracker,’ with a new set and new costumes. That’s exciting. Students 7 to 14 can audition to be a part of the very first, 50th-anniversary performance with brand new scenery and costumes.”
Pre-ballet classes for ages about 4 to 5 teach students about developing listening skills and discipline, she said. Four levels above that, accommodating ages 6 to 12, build on each other and prepare students to enter Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory classes.
TSOB class size is usually between 12 and 15 students, but no more than 20, Szabo said. “The artistic staff decides where to place students – Cassie Sprance and myself. Lori Pagano, business manager, gets us last year’s roster, and we will go through and give them all their placement levels.”
The Dance Shop, located in the Conservatory with an entrance at 62 Main St., has everything a student needs to wear, she said. “And don’t forget the 15 percent discount for students who register at the open house,” she said.
Szabo took her first dance lesson as a child from a dance school in Torrington. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher from the first day I went to a dance school when I was six,” she said. “My mother said, ‘How was it?’ and I said, ‘I’m going to be a dance teacher.’ I was six years old. Never changed my mind. Never.”
Later, as a teenager, she took lessons from Nutmeg Ballet founder Sharon Dante, who had just returned to Torrington after studying classical ballet in New York City. “It was thrilling for me to find that,” Szabo said.
She said the earlier a child starts, the better the chances are that they can become a professional dancer – if that is the goal. “There are other values to taking ballet as a young child, such as learning listening skills and learning a sense of their bodies,” she said. “For many preschool kids, we are their introduction to life outside the home.”
She said, “The discipline and the training and the detail take young people in a direction where they could be involved in dance – or maybe not. A lot of them stay in the
field and a lot of them don’t, but it never leaves them. You can take the dancer out of Nutmeg, but you can’t take Nutmeg out of the dancer.”
Whatever lifetime goals your child ultimately chooses, she or he has a chance now to be part of Nutmeg’s 50th-anniversary celebration, including being among the first dancers to appear in “The Nutcracker” with a brand new set and new costumes. Contact Lori Pagano at Torrington School of Ballet, 860-482-7375, or go to www.nutmegconservatory.org, then click on “Ballet Programs” and then “TSOB at the Nutmeg.”
There will be open house registration sessions August 19 and 26 and Sept. 5, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Come meet the teachers of Torrington School of Ballet and get a tour of the building. Plus, receive 15 percent off of all your dance wear needs when you register at an open house.View Story