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"My daughter, Kaila, has attended WSOD since its inception in 1997. It has been a great privilege to be part of a school where all the instructors are very caring and extremely dedicated to their students. Joanne Carey’s devotion to the art of dance has made the school a huge success and all the students adore her. Her commitment to the community is commendable and is evident through fundraising, offering a work study program and just this year introducing a “Little Stars” program for disabled children. The recitals are comparable to a professional production and leaves the audience feeling very proud to witness the cultivation of the dancers’ skills year after year. WSOD is a very special place and we are so happy to be a part of it." - Diane Starita
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In the early part of 2008, Chia Zubizarreta, Westfield resident, physical therapist in private practice along with her daughter Kelly (former Westfield School of Dance student) approached Miss Joanne to start a program for children that Chia was treating who expressed a desire to be ballerinas. So, in the summer of 2008, “The Little Star’s Ballerina Program" was born.
“The Little Stars”, most of whom can not walk or hold themselves up without some type of aid, are matched with a “helper” who acts as their arms and legs to accomplish dance steps typically they could not master. “The Little Star’s” made their first appearance on stage during WSOD’s Annual Winter Performance. What began as a summer dance class has become something we never imagined. Since then, The Little Stars Dance Program" has embraced children who would not be able to partake in typical dance classes. We continue reaching out not only to children with physical challenges, but children with cognitive and developmental challenges as well. What began as 5 little girls asking to dance has become our labor of love.
“The Little Stars” Ballerina Program" is dedicated to and in memory of Emil Zubizarreta, Chia’s husband and Kelly’s father who passed away in 2004. He was always a helping hand at WSOD and he continues to be…..
When we began in 2008, our classes consisted of an introduction to ballet and creative movement . As the dancers grew, so did our approach. Now we offer two distinct classes.
Little Stars Ballerinas
These classes are designed for the 3-5 year old child and remains true to the original approach to the program; ballet and creative movement with two options.
Little Stars on The Move!
These classes are designed for the slightly older child ranging in ages from 5-7 years old with an emphasis on creative movement and modern dance.
Students who demonstrate a proficient understanding of dance and a desire to work with our children are selected and trained as volunteers. Each dancer is matched with a student volunteer who works one on one with a dancer in whatever capacity is needed.
Physical Therapy Support
The Little Stars Program began with physical therapy support and maintains that unique distinction in its program. Each dancer receives a free evaluation to be properly placed in the program as well as with a student volunteer.
"I can not express how grateful Alex & I were that Sydney had a chance to join a ballet class that accommodates to her special needs. I know that she really enjoyed the class. Much thanks for being such a special person."- Lauren Cohen
"Thank you for allowing me to observe your class of terrific dancers. I was taken aback at how well all of your special needs students performed. I could not get over their positive attitudes. My visit confirmed my desire to be a Special Ed Teacher. You and your staff and volunteers are so dedicated. I was impressed with your program."- Peter Fredas
" The words are difficult to find to describe our intense feelings of gratitude to you for whom our child has become. Sit, stand, turn , click , jump, walk…how can we thank you enough. Thank you for expecting so much" - The Yakobsohn Family
"More than 17,000 children join me in thanking you for your support. This gift ensures that the children in need of essential care are able to receive it. Thank you for being there for our children." - Theresa D. Valentino, Director of Development, Children's Specialized Hospital Foundation
"On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the children & families of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Branch and New Brunswick I formally thank you. Because of your generosity, the Ronald McDonald House can continue to be a permanent source of strength for families coping with the crisis of caring for a seriously ill child." - Corrinne M. LeBaron, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House
Why We’re Different
At the Westfield School of Dance we do what we love and love what we do - and it shows! We are very proud of our reputation as a leader in dance education and stand by our commitment to excellence for your child’s dance education. We want you to have every opportunity to register for class so please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have. We are currently accepting registration for the dance season.Thank you for celebrating 16 years of providing quality dance education in the Westfield area and hope that you join us for an amazing year of dance!
Westfield School of Dance
137 Central Avenue, 2nd floor, Westfield, NJ 07090