Questions & Answers
Tell me about the dance programs you run at Belliston Academy.
The Belliston Academy of Ballet & Dance is both Royal Academy of Dance and Cecchetti Council of America certified. The world renowned Royal Academy has offered their certified program for around 85 years. It is a set syllabus that starts as early as age 5 and runs all the way through to the professional level. Examiners come from London to test both the students and teachers, who are educated to the highest possible level. It’s an internationally recognized program so that even if you are student from Japan, you can walk right in and take the same class you were taking in Japan and feel comfortable. Cecchetti is a similar program, with their own council and are certification at the highest level of learning across five methods of ballet. We are unique in what we offer at Belliston; another studio wanting to start the Royal Academy program or Cecchetti, would first have to get a qualified teacher on their staff in order to submit students for examining. If you want to dance for fun and exercise you can enjoy the most comprehensive programs here, and if you are more serious about a career in dance, this is the best start you can have.
I understand that you have a swimming pool in your basement. Why is that?
Yes that’s correct. We are the only Dance Academy in the Denver Metro area to have a 50ft x 15ft swimming pool in the building. Isn’t that something! We feel very passionately about offering our students the very best dance education. Many schools will put their ballet students ‘en pointe’ too soon but here at the Belliston Academy, we use the pool to help train their muscles and give them muscle awareness before they attempt to go ‘en pointe’ in the studio. The water resistance helps students identify the muscles they are working, whereas in the classroom, this is more abstract. Dancing ‘en pointe’ is hard – you’re putting your body weight on little feet and little ankles, and so it’s very important that the child is strong enough. That’s why we put all our ‘en pointe’ students in the pool first – and they absolutely love it. They hold the barre in the water as if they are in the studio. It’s a super fun and very effective method of teaching.
Tell me more about the philosophy behind the school.
Our founder, Jeannine Belliston, a mom of seven and passionate dancer herself, opened the Academy more than 35 years ago after looking for suitable classes for her own children. Since then more than 10,000 children have found their way here. We don’t just offer dance classes, we offer your children the chance to achieve real success in life. Students learn vital life lessons in nutrition, physical health, team-work, performance, and the importance of regular practice and dedication to a craft – everything they need to become a successful, healthy and happy adult. Our past students have gone on to become professional dancers as well as lawyers, doctors, teachers and work in many other wonderful, fulfilling professions. We’re very proud of that. Now we’re seeing second and even third generations come through our doors. One ex-student, who was a rebellious teenager, now travels for 45 minutes each way twice a week to bring her five-year-old daughter to dance classes, because as an adult she recognizes just how important the school was in her development. We’re proud of our contributions to the community and our goal is to continue our good works and make sure that our children enjoy the best education in an environment that will continue to nurture their talents, hopes and dreams.
Why do you not allow students to register online?
The majority of our classes are designed to fit a dancer’s skill level. As dance studios across town and throughout the country use differing methods of identifying their levels within a given genre of dance, it is very difficult to determine the proper placement for a student by searching online or by discussing over the phone. We prefer to invite the dancer to attend a complimentary placement class so that their skill level can be assessed and proper placement can be made. Call today to schedule a complimentary placement class – (303) 973-2070.