Growing Through Arts® retailer: Neisha's Dance and Music Academy

Neisha's Dance and Music Academy This summer, hundreds of little girls will be introduced to the famous classical ballet, Cinderella, at Neisha’s Dance and Music Academy in Chula Vista, CA.

They won’t be watching a movie or attending a performance of the ballet. Instead, their dance teachers will read to them from the Growing Through Arts® storybook, The Cinderella Ballet by Aleksandra®, for a few minutes every class, giving the students a taste of one of the world’s most beloved story ballets.

Neisha Hernandez, artistic director and owner of the academy, was immediately drawn to the Growing Through Arts® books after seeing an ad for them in Dance Retailer News. “I thought, ‘What a great way to incorporate learning about the major ballets into the classroom,” she says.

So Neisha decided to buy the books and incorporate them into the curriculum for all of her 16 pre-ballet classes, designed for children in kindergarten, first and second grades. From July through September, teachers will read about five to seven minutes of the story during each class, and then they will dance to music from the ballet.

From October through December, the teachers will read The Nutcracker Ballet by Aleksandra® to the students, followed by The Sleeping Beauty Ballet by Aleksandra® in January, February and March.

As a Chula Vista Commissioner for Arts & Culture, Neisha believes passionately in promoting the arts in her community and realized there was a need for more dance education among the younger children when students didn’t recognize the music from Sleeping Beauty in class. “The younger students… don’t know one ballet from the next. All they know is Disney,” she said.

In addition, the Growing Through Arts® Ballet Series and Music Series books will be on sale in the academy’s on-site retail store, and Neisha believes reading the books in class will entice children to want to buy them for home.

Neisha says developing a curriculum that incorporates the Growing Through Arts® book helps her dance studio differentiate itself from others in the Chula Vista and San Diego areas. “Anything that makes their experience a little more special, a little more unique is perfect for (generating good word of mouth),” she says.