The three stanzas, bolded below, came to me as a New Year’s Day email, from Tom Burson, accomplished pianist, liturgical musician at Evangel United Methodist Church, instructor and accompanist at Allegro.
Being a total music geek I checked out the origins of our Sunday hymns. "O God Our Help in Ages Past" is the quintessential hymn for those who call themselves Methodists. Since 1780 it has been the first hymn in the hymnal. Charles Wesley 1707-1788 wrote the lyrics with 18 verses. The tune is by Carl G. Glaser.
Charles Wesley's grandson Samuel Sabastian Wesley (1810-1836) wrote the tune for the hymn "Another New Year is Dawning." The lyrics are by an Anglican, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)
I picked one of my favorite Waltzes: Wiener Blut by Johann Strauss Jr. 1825-1899. The waltz has its origins in the German and Austrian folk dances called the Volta and Laendler. By 1800 it became the scandal and rage of Europe . By the time of Chopin and Strauss it had become the dance of the angels. What is the new year without a Strauss Waltz. 1-2-3- ready dance...........
1-2-3 ready dance………. Is exactly how we feel at Allegro.
Beginning 2021 with in person dance classes, music lessons and R.E.D. rehearsals is exciting and energizing.
1-2-3 ready dance……..Creating our community brings life to the building and all who enter. The inclusion of our live online dancers and musicians broadens our connection.
1,2,3 ready dance…….safely. We are mindful and disciplined always, of our responsibilities to ourselves and others. The pandemic that we navigate daily requires our attention. None of our precautions or adaptations take away the joy of dance or music.
1,2,3 ready dance…….Perhaps it makes us more appreciative. It definitely makes us more innovative. I know that Allegro’s devoted staff and faculty feel the same.
1,2,3 ready dance…...waltz, tap step, turn, leap, Allegro is here for you, we will dance, appreciate, learn, laugh, smile, perform. Nothing is more important than bringing meaning, movement, music and joy to the students in our midst.
1,2,3 ready dance……..
Janet M. Johnson
Today’s learning environments are more important than ever before, and dance is no exception! Whether your child or teen is dancing in-person or live online, the community they’re building and the connections they’re making are fulfilling important needs. Every child wants to feel like they belong and that they can accomplish great things—and dance helps bring this to life.
In our classrooms at Allegro School of Dance and Music, we’re going the extra mile to create a safe environment that minimizes risk and maximizes joy! We’ve made changes to our in-person class structure, for example, to ensure there is no personal contact we've staggered arrival and dismissal times, vastly increased our cleaning protocols each evening and in between every single class, and ensure there is always a safe distance between students. Additionally, through our investment in technology, we’ve made it possible for any child to participate in class virtually if their family would prefer at-home learning.
The physical and mental well-being of our dancers is our top priority, and we are committed to providing an experience that supports both. While we can’t predict the future, we can provide a safe outlet of activity and self-expression—a way for our children to cope with their stresses and build their resilience muscles. We believe their health will be better for it!
Living in this new world means our dancers are already adapting to many changes in their lives, from wearing masks to limiting close contact with others. We want to remind them these changes are welcome and appreciated, so that we can all move forward in the safest way possible. We want them to know their efforts matter! This sense of teamwork among peers is just one example of how dance helps our kids make sense of our circumstances.
In addition, our dancers are learning valuable lessons in how to express their emotions through movement. It can be complicated for a child to verbalize their feelings, and yet through dance, they have the opportunity to say with their body what can be challenging to articulate otherwise. We dance from our hearts first, and we believe every child deserves the chance to express themselves in this way.
We hope that you’ll continue to see what a positive impact dance has on your child’s life throughout this year. At Allegro, healthy classrooms—both in-person and live online—equal happy kids. And we couldn’t be more proud to bring dance into our students’ lives during this important time.
-Janet Johnson, Owner & Artistic Director
"It's not the same ___"
"I miss ____"
"It's not as fun ___"
The opinions on Online Dance Classes and Music Lessons are as varied as the individuals who give them. What we know now, is that we are not done with live in a pandemic.
What we know now is that going backward is not an option.
What we know now is how to preserve what matters- music, movement, happiness, schedule, friends ...
We've learned a lot about technology and humanness. We've leaned in and we've risen to the challenge in so many ways.
So, you've made the decision to have your Little One dance with us in the studio at Allegro. Even with our Safer Studio policies, and all the measures in place to make dance class the best experience ever, it's hard to drop them off and not be waiting in the lobby. We miss having you in the lobby, too. We understand how important catching a glimpse of your little dancer on the Studio Vision screen is to parents.
With you in mind, Allegro is now a Tech Enabled studio.
Parents of Little Ones and Children (ages 3-6) will be able to log into a special Zoom link beginning August 17th and watch their dancer in the studio as they experience class in real time.
Contact us via email or phone. We're happy to share more details with you!
Allegro is committed to increasing equality and inclusivity within the walls of our studio and in the greater dance industry. Shifts in our language and dress code are important steps for us to take to create a safe environment for dancers of all races.
Attire sheets are provided to dancers upon registration. Questions or input regarding our dress code policies? Give us a call, we're happy to open discussion with you!
These five key points written by our owner and artistic director, Janet Johnson, helps dancers understand the importance of adhering to our dress code policies.
1) Eliminate Visual Distractions: When dancers have a similar dress, there is less focus on comparison of clothing. The teacher is able to clearly see the movements and how each dancer is executing them, creating an environment of excellent instruction for all dancers.
2) Allow the Dancers to Move Freely: Each dress code is chosen per style of class to enable the dancers to focus on their movements.
3) Increase Focus: The act of physically changing into dance clothing is an important transition for younger students. It prepares them for class. Older dancers build from this and establish a mindset to learn, focus, and try their best.
4) Create Cohesiveness: When dancers wear a defined dress code, it creates stronger bonds between classmates as they see themselves as a team, working as individuals, but towards similar goals.
5) Improve Confidence: Dress code puts all dancers on the same page. When students look like dancers, they feel like dancers and it shows in their effort, confidence and enjoyment.
Allegro owner Janet Johnson knew she'd come across someone special when she first met Beverly Spell in 2012. Miss Beverly's Leap ‘N Learn curriculum aligned with the artistic and educational values that Allegro has always embraced. Janet knew that an affiliation with Leap ‘N Learn would provide great value to Allegro students and families. Since joining the program in 2013, Allegro teachers have attended training sessions at Miss Beverly’s ballet school in Louisiana. Five years later, in December 2018, we had the extraordinary opportunity to host Miss Beverly for a week at Allegro. She provided continuing education for our teachers and spent time in the studios with our dancers. We are very grateful for the positive personal connection she made with our dancers, their families and the Allegro faculty and staff.
In this time of online learning, we are very excited to incorporate Miss Beverly’s materials into our Creative, Pre Ballet and Beginning Ballet classes. Students in these classes will have the opportunity to take classes online with Miss Beverly.
To learn more about the whole child Leap ‘N Learn curriculum, visit their website at https://www.leapnlearn.com/for-parents.
Allegro is proud to be the only Leap ‘N Learn affiliated studio in SE MN.
I love to send greeting cards. It’s not complicated, but the impact can be huge. That small piece of paper is a tangible acknowledgement-- you are thought of, you are appreciated, you are seen.
I was recently delighted to find the following message on the back of a greeting card (funny, I don’t even remember the front, the part that’s supposed to catch your eye). It really spoke to my role as a mom, family advocate, and studio owner. I know that at this time of year you may begin to feel like you’ve lost count of the hours spent as a supporting cast member in your family’s life-- driving, juggling schedules, enforcing music practice, dialing back drama, honing ballet bun making skills and watching, watching, watching. But I want you to know that you are really the heroes behind the scenes, supporting, uplifting, and witnessing the unfolding of this next generation.
I read recently that by the time you reach age seventy-five you might easily have slept the equivalent of twenty-five years of your life. I think I've already spent as least that much time watching. Last week I watched my son Ross play trombone in a jazz band concert, my daughter Maria dance in a recital and my husband Paul's barbershop quartet in concert. Soon, I'll begin the springtime rite of sitting on hard metal bleachers watching countless hours of high school baseball.
I was telling my mom that maybe I should be doing more and watching less when she laid the truth on me in her reliably sensible way. 'We can't all be stars,' she said. 'Somebody has to watch, or it would take all the fun out of performing.' Then I remembered how our daughter rushed up to us after last year's school musical. 'Did you see my dance?' she wanted to know. The fact that Mom and Dad had seen her seemed as important as the dance itself.
My mom also pointed out that there's more to my role than simply watching: Somebody has to drive to rehearsals, get the piano tuned and volunteer to bring the post-game snack. None of that may be glamorous, but I've learned that the performance - or whatever form that 'starring role' takes - couldn't happen without the supporting players. We watchers play an important role in the lives of others, who need to know that someone is cheering especially for them.
Did you know that Allegro offers a 10 month season of dance? Our season progresses through the end of June, with a full week of regular classes after our Spring Dance Concert, as well as multiple group classes and performance opportunities for the remainder of the month. It's a fun and valuable time that we know our dancers enjoy!
I just watched the Allegro production of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."
It is really more of an Easter theme than Christmas, but it is set in the Bleak Mid Winter. I don't know much about the origin of the music but it was perfect. Some sounded like Donovan, some like Holst's Planets and, yes, some like the African jungle music of the Lion King.
The real stars were the dancers. The White Witch was awesome, much in the spirit of Maleficent.
Aslan was a stunningly talented young woman. I love the idea of a female deity.
Mr. Tumnus was also a young lady much like Mary Martin as Peter Pan.
Lucy, Susan Edmund and Peter were brilliant.
It had a cast of many dancers from very young to sorta young.
To live is to dance.
Professional musician and educator
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