by Liz Graham
My daughter, Mirabella (8), begins her third year of dance at South Shore Conservatory (SSC) this coming fall. Mira had taken ballet with another well-known ballet school when she was a toddler, and when we settled in Hingham, she decided she’d like to join a ballet program again. At the time, I was working for SSC, and learned that ballet would be offered that school year at the Hingham campus, in addition to its long-running program in Duxbury. It was a no brainer; I signed her right up!
Since she started the program, Mira has been a student of Ms. Adrienne, a favorite teacher of anyone who has been a part of the SSC community. During her first year, Mira loved to watch a hip-hop class for younger children that took place before her ballet class. She begged me to ask SSC’s wonderful Dance Department Chair, Susie Guthro, if they would consider adding a hip-hop class for her age group the following school year. To Mira’s (and my) surprise, SSC made it happen! We quickly shared this exciting news with several of Mira’s friends who were in her ballet class, and they joined as well. The class, taught by the fabulous Kaitlyn Mazzilli, who is a licensed dance therapist, was a huge success from the perspective of both parents and kids alike. The hip-hop dancers even got to perform a piece in the SSC Dance Department Spring Recital!
The Spring Recital is a wonderful experience for these young dancers. Believe it or not, it’s virtually stress free! They work hard all year, and this is their opportunity to perform in front of family and friends. The faculty manages to keep the recital to an hour, which I greatly appreciate as a parent of a younger child. Students are dressed simply – in their ballet leotards, tights, skirts and slippers. There are three rehearsals beforehand, not at all overwhelming for Mira. It is fun for the students to interact with other SSC students from different towns, as the Duxbury and Hingham campuses come together for this event.
We love so many aspects of SSC’s dance program, but the one thing I always share with other parents and their children, is that SSC has figured out the perfect blend of discipline and joy. The teachers are true professionals, teaching these young dancers the proper French words for ballet steps. They are expected to wear the appropriate attire for their class level. They work hard during class and have the opportunity to perform what they’ve learned in front of an audience. However, SSC faculty also incorporates an element of fun that isn’t always apparent in other programs. These kids come out of their classes laughing and smiling. To me, that says it all! Mira and I are grateful to have discovered this wonderful dance program right in our community.
South Shore Conservatory’s dance classes start the week of September 9. Learn more about dance department offerings at https://sscmusic.org/dance/, or find South Shore Conservatory Dance Department on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sscdancedept/.
Liz Graham, former SSC Special Events and Corporate Relations Liaison, is a Hingham resident.