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
We all enjoyed a wonderful Spring Dance Concert on June 1! The experience is made even more rewarding when our Allegro families share their positive experiences:
Dear Allegro staff and faculty,
I want to express my utmost gratitude for a positive first recital experience for my little dancer. Clara has been dancing with Allegro since she was attending Wiggle Wednesdays as a 6 month old! She recently danced in the Spring Dance Concert with her Move With Me class, taught by Miss Allie. Our experiences with Allegro have been wonderful. Clara is developing a love of dance and even met her best friend in class. We are looking forward to her first independent class this summer and more fun and growth. Thank you for being positive role models and choosing age appropriate dance choreography, music and costumes. It was a true pleasure to participate in the SDC and we are proud to be an Allegro family.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone at Allegro for the hard work and dedication to your dancers and families.
Performance Company (PC) at Allegro is a dedicated group of dancers, practicing with enthusiasm each Tuesday. Not only do they represent Allegro in the community, but they also take part in regional conventions and competitions. We are so proud of the many good works of PC! Here is a snippet of their weekly update following the Kids Artistic Review (KAR) competition in Minneapolis on March 8-10.......
Hopefully you have all had a chance to check out the pictures, videos and results from KAR. I wanted to give a special shout out to a couple of the performances that won Judges’ Choice Awards and one that was a High Point Award!
Everyone did a fantastic job--you should all feel proud of what you put on stage! I can’t wait to see what we achieve in just a few weeks… because Midwest Starz is just around the corner!
Our third and final competition of the season is April 5-7 in Wisconsin Dells.
As always, I will send you logistical information as soon as it becomes available to me!
That’s all for now! Please let me know if you have any questions!
Allegro families, we are so excited to tell you about a special recognition Miss Janet received from our amazing affiliation More Than Just Great Dancing® in their most recent newsletter!
As you know, here at Allegro we believe that a cooperative team effort from our staff helps create the best kind of environment for our dance parents and students. MTJGD interviewed Miss Janet about leadership and methods for educating staff, including a spotlight on her “You, Me, & We” philosophy.
Here is a sample of the interview:
At Allegro School of Dance and Music in Rochester, Minnesota, you’ll find that Janet Johnson is the type of studio owner who leads with a quiet yet strong surety and a bird’s eye view of her business. She sees her school’s success as the sweet spot where the customers, faculty, and leadership all intersect. With a desire to empower and equip her staff of 18, Janet recently crafted a decision-making concept that would serve as her team’s go-to reference on reaching that sweet spot.
“In past years, I realized there was a disconnect between the staff and the entity of Allegro when it came to communications, policies, and authority,” explains Janet. “I realized I needed to reframe the picture of the way everyone was expected to contribute.”
Reframing this picture led Janet to come up with a Venn diagram of “You, Me, & We” decision-making expectations. She wanted to take the guesswork out of her staff’s way and provide them with a clearer understanding of how they could make an impact with their decisions … and when to step back.
Janet says that she teaches her staff how each part of the diagram has important influence on the entire organization of Allegro … Carrying out this “You, Me, & We” model with her team has proven successful; Janet reports that it truly is empowering her people with the clarity they need to understand their roles.
“I want them to be winning in this massive way,” says Janet about her team. “I want to challenge them to climb up the mountain, not go around it. And seeing them experience this organic, natural growth in this way … that’s winning for me too.
Ultimately it is our dancers and their families who experience the impact of our work, so if we are winning at what we do, and sowing these seeds, then we know our families can reap the benefits of all that Allegro has to offer. They are the ones who truly benefit the most!”
Miss Janet is both honored and humbled that MTJGD has acknowledged her efforts in this newsletter feature. She is proud that Allegro is considered a leader and innovator within this affiliation of nearly 300 dance studios across the country and Canada.
Most especially, Miss Janet loves having the opportunity to showcase what an outstanding team of employees Allegro has serving its dance families. It’s truly special to have staff members who work in such a symbiotic way, uniting in our mission to create a safe and nurturing learning environment where our students can succeed in dance and in life!
Janet with Misty Lown, founder and president of More Than Just Great Dancing
Studio Owner University participants, Palm Springs, California, January 2019
At Allegro, we’re sometimes asked by parents if we can “challenge” or “push” a child more in class. The answer is not as simple as you might think, which is why we’ve brought the answer here to our blog!
The first part of the answer is that it’s a misconception that dancers must be pushed by someone else in order to succeed. We believe a teacher should encourage, instruct, support, and inspire … but not push, which implies that they would force a child to do something they are unwilling or unprepared to do.
When it comes to being pushed in dance class, our goal is to teach that it comes from within. In our experience, dancers who push themselves will see much bigger, brighter results than those who expect to be pushed by someone else! That inner drive is what’s most motivating.
So how do our teachers make a difference when it comes to challenging your children to do more? If the push comes from within the dancer, what are the teachers doing to develop each student’s progress? How do they respond to the push?
Rather than prodding a dancer along, our teachers nurture the spark that has already come from inside. It’s a spark that every child already has—and they ignite it themselves.
Each teacher on our team is trained in pulling the best out of each dancer. When the students are pushing themselves to work hard, this allows the teachers to hone in on all the amazing qualities that shine through. They also strive to strengthen each child’s growth areas, inspiring new directions for that inner push to go. This is the push/pull effect in action!
Every push from the dancer results in a harmonious pull from the teacher. And its cycle continues over and over again throughout a dancer’s journey at Allegro School of Dance and Music.
We strongly believe that this philosophy gives our students the healthiest possible dance education. Rather than wait for someone else to push them forward, our dancers are discovering their inner drive. And at the same time, they’re experiencing the instruction and positive influence of our teachers to grow their skills and character qualities.
Over the years, we’ve seen the proof that this push/pull effect truly sets our students up for success. We thank you for trusting us to teach these lessons to your child and help them reach their fullest potential in dance and in life!
Copyright © 2019 Moonlight Writing, LLC. All rights reserved.
There are many moments of happiness in studio ownership, both large and small. Happiness, pride, and connection overwhelmed me as I read Becky Seavey's quick email to Allegro.
-Janet Johnson, Owner
"Hello Janet and Sarah-
Janet- thank you so much for the donation to Shining Stars team. Elizabeth was so excited that she was able to raise over $700 for this great organization. She was happy and honored to help in the balloon release ceremony to remember those kids, including Axel, who are now watching over us.
Sarah- here are a few pictures of the event- Lizzy decided to wear her Malibu costume.
Thank you both for the support - so many of our dance families donated as well. So glad to be a part of a dance studio that cares for others and shows support to the community."
Full circle history:
Between December 11th, 2007 to our son Axel's death on 9-11-09, our family was a part of Brighter Tomorrow's. Their philosophy: no one should have to face a childhood cancer diagnosis alone.
Over the years, we've kept in touch with founders Sherrie Decker and Liz Canan and their families. Since 2015, Allegro's Performance Company and National Honor Society of Dance Students have had the privilege of providing a meal for this group of families, which can total 70-80 persons, as well as provide a dance performance.
Elizabeth Seavey, an Allegro dancer and Performance Company member, decided she wanted to do more than just dance for this group. She created a team called the Shining Stars to walk in the annual Go for Gold event for Brighter Tomorrow's. Lizzy raised money, took initiative, and created a team- reaching far and beyond what was expected. Here's where the very personal place comes in for me- each year, Go for Gold honors the children who have died of childhood cancer. This year it was a balloon release. I asked Lizzie if she would let Axel's balloon soar into the sky.
Good work, Lizzie, Seavey family, Brighter Tomorrow's, and Allegro. Life coming full circle is something to be proud of both in and outside of the dance studio.
Take a peek at our blog where we share monthly updates, exciting news and events!