A dance studio focused on introducing children to ballet opens a location in Roanoke.
Little Jumperswhich also has a presence in Blacksburg, is a school-based dance school with an emphasis on ballet that also offers classes in jazz, tap, hip-hop and musical theater, said Heather Leeper, owner and manager.
The space is designed and decorated to resemble a castle, Leeper said, which plays into Little Leapers’ emphasis on storytelling and imagination in its teaching. She said it’s exactly what a young girl wanting to try ballet for the first time might imagine.
“It’s meant to capture that dreamy feeling of a budding young ballerina,” Leeper said.
After having success at Blacksburg, Leeper felt ready to add a second location. The Roanoke studio will welcome children from 18 months to 12 years old.
Although there are other dance studios in the area, Leeper said she doesn’t believe any offer similar programming to Little Leapers.
“You’re not going to walk into another dance school and feel like you’re in a castle,” she said. “It’s the perfect start to your ballet experience here.”
Leeper said she hopes to strengthen beginner ballet, get young children interested in dance, and teach them that ballet isn’t boring.
Little Leapers is located in the city festival mall, which Leeper said he chose because it’s easily accessible, offers exposure and provides things for parents to do after dropping their kids off at class, if they choose not to use the viewing windows to watch their dancers in the studio.
Leeper is an experienced dancer herself; she studied with former students of the New York City Ballet and was also a cheerleader with the Washington Capitals and Washington Nationals.
Little Leapers plans to start offering classes at its Roanoke studio this week. It’s at 3723 Franklin Road SW
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