Valley ballet studio offers classes to low-income families - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Valley ballet studio offers classes to low-income families

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

On any given day, little girls can be found practicing their ballet at the West Valley Conservatory of Ballet in Surprise.

But many parents of the ballerinas wouldn't be able to afford the ballet classes if it weren't for the generosity of one woman.

Stephanie Savage owns the studio and is determined to offer a high-quality classical ballet education to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay for it.

Katherine Coronel is so thankful that she can take her daughters to the studio.  Her youngest daughter has developmental delays, but her demeanor completely changed when she heard classical music for the first time, Coronel said.

"She stopped banging her head on the wall.  She stopped with her anger tantrums and when she's starting to get into her anger tantrums, I play classical music," Coronel said.

Coronel's older daughter suffers from severe post-traumatic stress after witnessing her father's death in a hit-and-run accident.

"When I first enrolled her and she started, I noticed a huge change and her feelings became more stabilized.  She found her outlet," Coronel said.

She added, "It is so amazing.  It is just absolutely amazing.  There are no words to describe just how grateful I am for this opportunity for my girls."

Stephanie Savage started the studio after her ballet teacher in Hawaii ran her studio on a donation basis.

She doesn't charge anyone for classes.  She only asks for donations.  The teachers only make about half of what they could be making elsewhere and the support staff doesn't get paid at all.

"It's not only something that I enjoy doing, but I see how big of a difference it makes in the kids' lives," Savage said.

"It's very humbling ... it's very humbling.  It makes all of the hours worth it," she added.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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