Director’s Note

Hello and Welcome to The Ballet School Performing Arts

Lareen Fender’s The Ballet School Performing Arts has been in Walnut Creek since 1976 and is one of the longest running businesses in existence on North Main Street. Lareen Fender, the founder of the school, created a truly remarkable foundation. Lareen started a school where artists could foster their passion for dance and theatre. She created a legacy by having taught thousands of students over the history of The Ballet School. Her attention to detail and clean lines were her trademark. Lareen honored tradition and kept The Ballet School very true in the midst of media and pop culture. She held steady in her teachings and her philosophies through all of it.  Lareen never wanted to have a school that “competed” or wore “skimpy costumes.” She wanted children to stay children so they would grow to respect themselves and their bodies as they grew into teens and adults. Lareen instilled many life lessons in her teachings. She was a marvel. She passed away in August 2011 after a 10 year battle with cancer. Through her passion and love for the arts she led her school and students to the top of all fields; dancers, actors, doctors, teachers, mothers, fathers, lawyers, CEOs, and on and on.

I am lucky enough to say that Lareen Fender is my grandmother. I have had the privilege of growing up right here in Walnut Creek and have spent many hours in the classroom training with my grandmother over the years. I have been inspired my whole life by her and all her teachings in dance and life. We shared a very special bond and love for each other. I have been training at the school my entire life and have been running the school since 2001. I know that when my Grandmother, Lareen, moved forward that she was very proud of The Ballet School Performing Arts and all the vibrant joyous energy that you feel when you come to the school. The feeling of family, tradition and joy is felt everywhere. My goal is to continue the great teachings in the classroom through dance, theatre and life lessons. We’re keeping the tradition alive.

I know that The Ballet School was a huge part of my growing up, but what I realize now is that I was learning so much more than ballet. I was learning so much about LIFE within the classroom walls. I was learning about discipline within myself, I was learning to express my feelings through movement, I was acting, telling stories, creating a sense of myself and who I would eventually become. I was gaining poise and confidence and was learning how to be JOYFUL and RESPECTFUL to myself and others. By training and studying the excellence of ballet, I was learning what true COMMITMENT was. I would not be the person I am today without every moment I spent at The Ballet School.  I made many choices in my life to continue the LEGACY my grandmother created. I know there is really no place like The Ballet School.

At The Ballet School Performing Arts, we celebrate the gift of everyday. We stay positive in our teaching and still teach excellent body alignment and technique, and discipline within both. It is my continued goal as director and owner of the school to continue to inspire and teach excellence in the classroom, as well as create a safe environment to grow and learn. It is very important to me to have an excellent teaching staff in the classroom who are wonderful role models for the students to look up to. The Ballet School Performing Arts is a very special place in so many ways.

It’s our HOME away from HOME.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Lareen Fender’s The Ballet School Performing Arts. The Legacy continues…