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Delafield Neighbors

Petite Pas Ballet School to Open This Month

Aug 26, 2014 09:05PM ● By Laura Ustanovska

Photo by Heart & Soul Photography

Valerie Dixon, a resident of Bristlecone Pines, has had the pleasure of working in the arts, specifically for professional ballet companies, for the past six years. “I started my career in the arts with Madison Ballet in Madison, Wisconsin, as its executive director,” explains Valerie. “Aside from the professional company, we had a ballet school and a pre-professional program with over 350 students enrolled.”

A career transfer for Valerie's husband, Sidney, took the family to California, where Valerie worked as the director of marketing and development for Company C Contemporary Ballet. “When we moved back to the metro-Milwaukee area, I found a void in early ballet instruction with a focus on the fundamentals of ballet, while protecting the creativity and imagination of the young child, their most precious gift,” says Valerie. “I wanted to enroll my own children (Maddie, 7, and Reece, 3) in a program that taught them these fundamentals in a whimsical storybook environment. Since I couldn’t find anything that met my standards for early ballet education, I decided to open my own studio.”

All of us at Petite Pas Ballet School - Delafield, WI (sounds like "pah," meaning step or series of ballet steps in French) Ballet live in a world that is glittered with whimsy – a world where fairies and superheroes take flight to play with princes and princesses in gardens filled with laughter and a sense of wonder!” says Valerie. “We believe that it is absolutely imperative to nurture a child's imagination. In our little world, fairytales and ballet live happily ever after.”

Petite Pas is a ballet school exclusively focused on laying an age-appropriate foundation of ballet, with dashes of whimsy and magic to boys and girls from 18 months to 8 years of age. “While many other dance schools offer creative movement classes for children as an addition to a roster of pre-professional programs, our unique curriculum creates a loving, stress-free foundation to better prepare kids for their later steps at some of the best dance schools in and around Milwaukee - or whatever other creative and athletic endeavors they choose to pursue as they move into tweendom and beyond,” relates Valerie.

Petite Pas is located at 524 Milwaukee Street, Suite 204, in downtown Delafield. “When deciding where to open our first metro-Milwaukee's only storybook ballet studio, we felt that our philosophy and overall feel fit perfectly with downtown Delafield,” Valerie reports. “Located upstairs from the ever-popular Eye Candy, we are centrally located in a most adorable town that offers plenty for parents to do while their little ones twirl to their hearts' content. Downtown Delafield is quaint with its unique offerings. The experience you and your kids will have at Petite Pas is exactly that: quaint and unique. Our studio is bright, inviting and decorated in a manner that evokes creativity and a sense of wonder.”

Valerie has found her future business neighbors to be welcoming, providing advice and guidance, allowing her to really feel at home. “I knew that I chose the right community but had NO idea how right it was – I can’t wait to drive into downtown Delafield each and every day and call it my second home,” she reiterates.

The decision to give up a steady salary and job that she loved was not easy for Valerie. However, she has been showered with support from her friends and family, and now that registrations are coming in, Valerie knows she is doing the right thing. “Parents want only the best for their children,” says Valerie, “and they are choosing our program. This makes the fear, uncertainties and lack of income all worthwhile. It has created a huge sense of pride and joy.”

So far, one of Valerie's favorite things about owning her own business has been designing the vision and branding of the studio. She has also enjoyed building her team and being able to share a vision with them to create the curriculums, schedules and overall experience. Finally, she loves being able to share the business with her family. ”My daughter was key in selecting colors, images and other little details I use in my marketing,” Valerie explains. “My husband painted the walls of the studio, developed the databases and manages the financials (and I am sure his honey-do list will continue to grow) and my two year old has shown us that nothing is more fun than leaping over lily-pads in his superhero cape! It is a family affair and that is so very, very rewarding. A lot of love has gone into this. A lot.”

“Children posses the most incredible sense of awe. Petite Pas Ballet School is ready to take the Milwaukee area's living room leapers, whirling wonders, monkey-bar monsters and tippie toe masters and turn them into dancers - at least one class at a time!” adds Valerie. “Our wonderful teachers at Petite Pas Ballet School will nurture and cultivate your child's natural born creativity, imagination and movement with each and every 'pas.'”

In the future, Valerie hopes to add a summer program and, if things go exceptionally well, Petite Pas Ballet schools across the metro-Milwaukee area.

The school's academic year runs from September through June. Each month will focus on a different ballet classic and its incredible musical score. The studio also offers birthday party packages. Petite Pas is open seven days a week.

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