Testimonials from former students, parents and graduates from both The Studio and Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre


“The training I received at The Studio, and the experience I was given performing with SCBT helped lay the foundation for my professional career in dance.  Though I started dancing late (I was almost 14), I feel that my training at The Studio helped me catch up as quickly as I could.  I know from experience that The Studio is a great place to learn ballet technique, and the high number of professional dancers that have started their training there is a testament to the quality of the teachers.  I also think that the emphasis placed on learning new, contemporary choreography and movement, in addition to the classics, helps dancers prepare for the real works of dance, which is becoming more diverse and demanding all the time.  I have nothing but gratitude for my time spent training at The Studio, and credit my career to my Studio teachers who helped me discover and develop my abilities as a dancer.”

~ Gabriel Williams, former student of The Studio and SCBT Company dancer
Dancer with Oakland Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and the Trey McIntyre Project; MFA in Dance from University of Florida at Tallahassee


“Dear Robert and Diane, 
We love you!  Thank you so much for including us again in the SCBT In Concert repertoire.  It was a rich experience.  You do so much for the community.  You can see the impact in the faces of the youngest and most mature of your students.  Thank you.  Thank you.”

~ Nancy LeVan and Bill Walker, Musicians, Songwriters, Composers


“Dear SCBT,
On behalf of Kuumbwa's Board of Directors, Thank you for inviting our kids to play for Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre.  Your dancers are talented, impressive and beautiful.  This collaboration has broadened the depth of experience for Kuumbwa’s Honor Jazz Band, a goal we aspire to achieve.  Thank you again for the opportunity.  Our arts community is vibrant, sassy, and a great fun to be a part of.  Cheers!”

~ Bobbi Todaro, Executive Director, Kuumbwa Jazz Center


“… dancing with The Studio has meant so much to me, especially in the last few years during the time I started pointe, joined Junior Company and began substitute teaching.  I also want to thank you for your incredible support of me as a ballet student and in my pursuit of a college education.  I am so grateful that I could dance during this last stressful period of my life, and I so appreciate your understanding of my other obligations.  Your support truly is amazing and I can’t thank you enough.  Diane, you are an inspirational teacher and I look up to you as s role model and a dancer.  Thank you for everything you have given me these last three years, I will never forget it.”

~ Studio Graduate who went on to attend UC Berkeley


“Experiencing The Studio and the teachers there brings to mind the old saying, ‘To the world you may be just one person, but you never know, to one person you might just be the world.’  The gift, what you share of yourselves with my daughter, will be with her every step she dances.”

~ Parent of a student of The Studio


“Dear Diane,
We don’t have words to describe the depth of our gratitude for your kindness, generosity, guidance, and mentorship of our daughter.  You have truly touched her and have had an important impact on her life.”

~ Mother of Studio graduate


“What keeps me coming to The Studio … week after week, year after year?  The Studio is a place where I come to feel inspired; I connect with the artist in others and in me.  Here I can see, hear and feel beauty.  There is something very special and unique about a place that offers an opportunity to explores balletic artistry with guidance and support.”

~ Longtime adult student


“Ballet has shaped who I am and permeated every aspect of my life.  The self-discipline, the respect, and the love of expression through movement, which I learned in my years at The Studio, have been invaluable in molding the way I move through the world as an adult.  I am confident.  I know how to work hard to reach my goals.  I take direction well and I am a good team-player.  And I know how to perform!  Being in front of an audience doesn’t phase me.  I owe a lot of my success to my wonderful teachers at The Studio, and I’ve done my best to share my love of dance with others.  Ballet is a defining piece of my life.  I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

~ Katerina Robinson,
former student of The Studio and SCBT Company dancer, 
Founder of the Ballet Company at UC Berkeley,
Legislative Director for California State Senator Nancy Skinner


“My daughter was born with bilateral club foot — ballet was as much a physical therapy as it was a dance class for my then 4 to 14-year-old.  When she started, she could not get her two feet in first position, stiffness of the foot and leg and being severely pigeon-toed a common retuls of this not-so-common birth defect.  While going en pointe was never the end-goal, early-year’s training at The Studio left my daughter’s legs strong, straight and with distinctive development up and down both calves and thighs, not to mention the beautiful posture and poise that now resides permanently in her body.  Thank you to all of her Studio teachers for the care, kindness, and support she received to overcome her physical challenges and limitations, one day, one class, at a time.”

~ Parent of a former Studio student


“Dear Robert, Diane, and SCBT,
Thank you so very much for such an excellent performance.  I was so professional.  I don’t know how you will be able to out-do this performance; however seeing how the productions have grown through the years, I am sure you will.  The first time you used the Taiko drums, tears rolled down my cheeks because of the beauty.  Thank you!  Pearls of wisdom and love in the arts…”

~ SCBT In Concert attendee




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