WHO WE ARE/WHAT WE DO
The Dance Garden, a small San Francisco Children's Dance Studio, is owned by Marian Roth-Cramer and opened in 2013. Now under the Shelter in Place lockdown since mid-March the DG has had to cancel current and future classes, camps and its annual performances until it is safe to resume. The DG runs on a trimester basis, which means we have been unable to collect tuition for the next semesters.
Government loans were not available to the Dance Garden, sadly. Therefore, your kind and generous donation will help us to pay rent and salaries starting May 1, 2020. We require $4300 per month for rent, utilities and salaries.
Currently, our Teachers are creating videos and our students are dancing at home. Our hope is that these videos will keep our young dancers inspired and challenged; allowing them to work on their technique and develop their skills. But, there is nothing like the one:one/student:teacher learning process.
We look forward to returning to our beautiful Studio where we offer a unique collection of dance techniques to students age 6 months to 13 years: “Dancing with Baby” for our Infants/Toddlers & Caregivers; Creative Movement for PreKs; Three levels of Ballet; Pointe class; Acro; Modern Dance; Contemporary; Tap; Russian Character Folk Dance; Swing; Hip Hop; Choreography and the supportive activities like Sewing Bees; Musical Theatre; Partnering; Teacher Training; Pilates; Silks; Elements of the Stage; Performing and more.
The DG also offers unique Adult evening classes that support our Community's ethnic diversity: Yoga in the RUSSIAN language and Irish Step Dancing, a challenging, authentic technique for intermediate/advanced dancers.
The DG has just acquired a 2nd Studio across the hall that will operate when Studio 1 is in use. Studio 2 will be used for Sewing Bees, Pilates Reformer and smaller Ballet and Tap classes, especially focusing on the needs of adults and older students.
The Dance Garden is well-respected in the business of Children's Dance - named "TOP Dance School for Kids" in the Bay Area by ChatterBlock for the past 5 years. There are only a few studios left who offer quality dance programs for the very young. The DGs graded dance program is performance-focused, designed and taught by educated and experienced dancers and dance teachers.
HISTORY + PHILOSOPHY
Since 1982, Ms Marian has taught dance to over 25,000 children in the Bay Area, leading her to develop a teaching method that uses creative experiences and professional dance training to make talented, disciplined dancers who grow into strong, flexible critical thinkers.
Students, as young as three, end their weekly classes with a mini-show complete with hair, makeup and costumes! Learning to perform before family and friends in a supportive setting is a joyful way to encourage confidence, memorization, responsibility and to learn more about this wonderful, elusive, art form!
These classes begin on the floor, are strength building and based on classical ballet technique. After 1-2 years and a student has demonstrated a level of expertise,they may add dance "electives" to their week's work. Pre-Teen Dance Garden students may register for up to 10 classes per week, including Pointe. Some are in the Teacher Training program.
DG Teachers share in the philosophy of making a complete dancer. Our Ballet Teacher, Ms Nika, brings an artistic and precise teaching style based on the Balanchine model - a challenging and unique technique for young dancers. Our Hip Hop Teacher, Ms Destiny, teaches a grounded, "street" style, a good challenge for the ballet trained body. Our technically skilled Acro Teacher, Ms Corinne, trained at the DG and local studios and is currently an outstanding SOTA (School for the Arts) dancer. Our Swing and Partnering Teacher, Mr David, originally danced with Neva Russian Dance Ensemble and Bay Area Folk Dance companies and along with another Neva dancer, Mr Bob, provide the needed stage experience and panache when teaching young dancers how to gracefully move with another...an important - yet overlooked - skill required for the student dancer.
For 7 years, Ms Marian was Artistic Director for Neva Russian Dance Ensemble - resident dance company of the Russian Center of San Francisco - and the go-to company when U.S. presenters wanted exciting and authentic Russian and Ukrainian Character Folk Dance prior to the Soviet Union's opening or Perestroika. Neva danced on stages all over America and for the opening celebration of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea where 100,000 watched from the stadium and millions on their TV sets around the world!
Dance Garden graduates can be found all over the world: in the SF's School of the Arts (SOTA); NYCs The Juilliard School; CAs UC schools; SF State U; Dominican U; the African Peace Corps.
DG grads become Teachers, Graphic & Visual Design Artists, Fashion & Costume Designers, Pediatric Nurses, Business leaders, Stage Technicians, Actors, Writers, Theatre Directors... and... DANCERS!
Regardless of their chosen profession, our DG students continue to dance.... for health, for fun, for others; and are described as: good role models; responsible citizens; helpful community members; gracious volunteers and caring, confident, strong men + women.
We are the Dance Garden……please support our current bouquet of young dancers so that they can continue to GROW now and when this Pandemic has passed.
Here is one of many messages Ms Marian received from former dance students.
Hi! My name is Nora Burke.
I am currently one year away from graduating with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Dominican University of California. As of now, I am on track to become a Nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where I will care for acutely ill children.
This semester I completed my clinical rotations in Maternal Women's Health and was given the privilege to help bring lives into the world. I also completed my clinical rotation in the PICU at Shriner's Hospital for Children, where I was surrounded by some of the sickest kids in the country.
Many people ask where I got this passion for caring for kids. How can I look at a sick child and not just be broken by their condition?
It is because when I look at a child lying in a bed, I picture them dancing. I picture them twirling around in their living room, excited to go to dance class. I picture them cartwheeling in the grass and the smile on their face when they move their body.
Ms. Marian and the beautiful community she created taught me that when you see a child down, you do everything in your power to pick them back up! This community taught me how incredibly resilient kids are, and how even during the hardest times of their life, a child can find solace in dance.
Dancing with Ms. Marian for so many years gave me great confidence in myself and my abilities. This confidence got me through my entire childhood, and it has not tapered since because it is rooted in self-compassion, self-respect, and appreciation for the things I am able to do.
So now, as a 21-year-old, I can walk into a patient's room, calculate dosages, administer thirteen medications, and then turn on some music, have a dance party and teach them the joy of moving their body, even in the smallest of ways!
All thanks to Ms. Marian!
- Ashley Vinson Crawford
- Reina Mooney
- Edge Brows
San Francisco, CA