As a parent unfamiliar with the dance world, but having a daughter who so clearly and naturally had a desire and need to dance, I felt ill-equipped with how to foster it. A friend recommended we call Draper to see if they had what she needed, and we have not looked back since. Gwennie was nine years old and had just started fourth grade at the time. We were unsure if she would feel too far behind or intimidated by the level of intensity that we’d heard Draper was known for. Going on her fifth year at Draper, I can say without hesitation, that phone call and decision to enroll her was one of the best decisions we have ever made for her. The amount of growth she has experienced from her time at Draper is nothing short of remarkable. Over the years, each and every teacher at Draper has been able to reach Gwennie on a personal level, has seen the drive and skill within her, and has been able to foster those attributes to help sculpt the dancer she is today. As parents, to watch her dance now and see her love of the music, movement, strength, and artistry come through has been incredibly rewarding and leaves us with deep appreciation for Draper. Beyond that, the overall confidence she now has in herself as a young woman is invaluable. She has gotten to see the benefits of hard work, dedication, and discipline and how physical strength can lead to strength of character. Finally, the friendships she has formed have become some of the most important ones in her life. The shared love of dance, shared experiences, and the time spent learning together in the professional environment that Draper provides have cultivated a sense of belongingness and family that she carries with her at all times. I highly recommend the Draper Center to any parent who is looking to set their child on a path to highly enriched development in dance.
Breaca & Mitchell Nellis, parents of a Draper student