Thirty little girls with buns in their hair and tutus around their waist filled the studio with laughter and squeals while they danced along with their instructors.
“It’s smiles upon smiles,” said Marli Frey, their dance teacher. “They’re the cutest things.”
Every Saturday Marli Frey reads to tiny ballerinas, plays games, leads dances and instructs her students on crafts during TuTu Ballet Academy’s TuTu-Time in Canyon Country.
“Some kids come every week and you watch them grow every time,” Frey said.
TuTu-Time is a free hour provided by the dance studio where children ranging from the ages of three months to 8 years old are read stories, taught simple ballet steps, led in dance and given crafts during the one-hour period.
“I’m all about the child,” Anna Navarro said, the creative director of the studio. “There are a lot of people who are strapped. They have very expensive living costs and they can’t afford (dance lessons).”
While the children have fun dancing and playing, it’s also a joy for parents to sit along the edge and watch their tiny ballerinas.
“The girls love it,” Jeanette James said as she made sure that her 2-year-old daughter was coloring on the paper, not on the floor. “After class we go home and they put a lot of shows on for us, they copy the older ballerinas.”
The children watch their ballet instructor’s move, hoping that one day they’ll dance just like her.
“It’s kind of an honor,” said Frey. “I would definitely look up to my older ballerinas and do the same thing and now I’m in their shoes.”
TuTu-Time occurs just about every Saturday from 12 p.m. till 1 p.m. at the studio.
“I wanted it to be a first exposure to ballet that was uniquely fun and built a love of ballet from the ground up,” Navarro said.