From Our Students
Ari Brandsdorfer Graduated Hendrick Hudson High School and Muhelnberg College. He went on to graduate Jefferson Medical School and is currently a first year Ophthalmology Resident at Montefiore Medical Center/ Albert Einstein College of Medicine:
"When I started ballet in 3rd grade I was immediately thrust into the two worlds of dance: the world of practice and the world of performance. Practice consisted of endless classes and day long rehearsals where skills could be honed in the privacy of a studio. Mistakes were acceptable but promptly corrected and mastery of technique directly correlated with hours of hard work. Performance, on the other hand, was a completely different realm. Music enveloped you, bright lights illuminated you and as you look out on the dimly light audience between movements of carefully set choreography you realized there were hundreds if not thousands of eyes in the room… and they were all looking at you. And while many people think dancers perform only for the applause, the truth of the matter is we perform for the intense, adrenaline filled rush that accompanies successfully completing painstakingly practiced movements while under extreme pressure. Although we practiced for months at a time leading up to our shows, inevitably every performance comes with its set of unforeseen errors. Props get dropped, people fall on stage, someone stands on the wrong mark, backstage lighting malfunctions, music starts too early or too late (or recently for our Snow Scene not at all!), but it is in those moments of chaos where true performers shine. Maintaining a calm demeanor when your heart is beating out of your chest, thinking up quick, effective solutions to unexpected snafus, and emotionally dealing with the embarrassment of a mistake cannot be learned in the ballet studio; it can only be learned on stage. When I hung up my ballet slippers in 2011 after 13 years in the wonderful worlds of dance, I felt there was a void in my life where performance had once lived. Sure ballet had prepared me for the "practice" demands of medical school; hours in the studio translated to hours in the library, hours in the cadaver labs, endless presentations and besting formidable exams, however, the adrenaline filled moments I experienced on stage were gone. I resigned myself to the idea that the feeling of loss was the inevitable punishment for those who walked away from dance. It wasn't until third year of medical school where I rediscovered the excitement in the most unexpected place: the operating room (OR). The first time I entered an OR I felt an implacable but eerily familiar feeling. Scrub techs and circulating nurses were running about set up tools, ensuring the surgeon had proper lighting, and securing the patient to the OR table. After the patient was placed under anesthesia and covered with sterile drapes the room quieted as the surgeon and his residents entered. They gowned/ gloved up, the room lights were dimmed, the OR lights were turned on and it suddenly hit me; I was at a performance! The backstage workers of my youth were transformed into scrub techs and circulating nurses. The OR had lights, cameras, a stage, and audience members. Principle, soloist, and corps dancers were replaced by surgeons, residents, and medical students. Each surgery had a carefully laid out choreography that required precise technique, impeccable timing, and hours of practice before show time. Heck some surgeries even ended in applause (ok to be honest clapping only happened after C-sections, nobody claps when a gallbladder comes out or cataract is removed). In those early moments of my surgical training I realized the gift ballet had given me; the gift of being able to perform. The ability to think quickly while under the OR lights, to improvise when the tides of a performance are going awry, and to keep a calm demeanor when your heart is racing came naturally to me after years on the stage. In the Operating Room confidence saves lives, and yet again the confidence that my body would perform as I wanted it to under intense circumstances was there from day one. To feel sure that you will actually help someone by cutting them open, inflicting wounds onto their bodies which in any other setting is considered assault with a deadly weapon and believe that after you have pieced them back together they will be better off than if you had never touched them in the first place is not an attribute that can be learned in the library. There are so many pieces of my life I must thank dance for giving me. From the best moments of my youth, to great friends I still love seeing, from building a work ethic which got me through medical school to giving me an ability to thrive under the pressure of the OR, I am eternally grateful. I realize we do not say this enough but to Mr. Logrea, Mrs. Logrea, Nick and Carol thank you for all the lessons and time you spent with me, I truly believe I am a better doctor and a better surgeon because of all of you. "
" Logrea Dance Academy wasn't just the place I came to hone my ballet technique; it was my home away from home. The instructors created a warm environment which allowed me to develop physically and mentally as a ballet technician and artist. In and out of the studio, I was encouraged to try my best, persevere, and to take pride in my accomplishments. The training that one receives at Logrea Dance Academy is truly of the highest caliber, and the directors are always looking for ways to further the school and enrich the lives of their students. It is because of LDA that I feel such a strong identification with the dance world and continue to make dance a part of my life. "
" Logrea Dance Academy has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and it has contributed to my growth in more ways than one. Being pushed and encouraged to my limits every day growing up has made me a dedicated, hard working person. My love of dance began at LDA and because of that great foundation, it has continued to expand and grow, leading me to major in dance in college. I hope to eventually be a part of a modern dance company, as a dancer or in some other way. My memories of LDA are great ones for I met some of my best friends there who along with LDA contributed to the person I am today. "
" After I made the decision to pursue dance more seriously at the beginning of high school, it quickly became a major part of my life. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to learn and perform at Logrea. I have gained poise and confidence, as well as a rewarding sense of community both in and out of the dance studio. In addition to contributing to my dance education, Logrea has helped me to succeed in my other endeavors; I have learned to keep a disciplined schedule and exhibit scrutiny and quality in my work, while maintaining passion for my activities. "
" Many of my fondest memories are from my time spent at Logrea Dance Academy. I danced at LDA for 9 years and could not have asked for a better environment to grow in. The dance training I received was remarkable, but my experience went far beyond dance. I learned discipline, teamwork and how to work to achieve my goals. I am so thankful to have had the chance to train under such wonderful instructors, and I truly believe that LDA has contributed a great deal to the person I am today. "
From Our Parents
"Emma will be attending Butler University in the fall and has been accepted into their dance program. I truly feel that my daughter is very fortunate to have been able to dance at Logrea Dance Academy. This school is a wonderful place for serious dancers and I will be sure to pass this on to all of my colleagues and friends: If your child is serious about dance, GO TO LOGREA DANCE ACADEMY! "
" We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the wonderful experience our daughter, Annabel, had participating in the performance yesterday. It was a wonderful day for our entire family. We feel very lucky that she is a student at your school. With many thanks. "
" Just wanted to offer my congratulations for this year's performance. Your hard work and commitment to excellence are evident in every dancer's step. I found that my daughter Giselle grew tremendously this year and has come to appreciate the benefits of practice and corrections. Your studio is truly distinctive! Many thanks. "
" Thank you for making this school such a wonderful experience for my daughter. She loves to learn and she loves the ballet. Seeing you with the girls in their first pointe class made me realize they are in very good hands. I felt I was in a Degas painting. "
" Thank you for introducing my class to the world of dance. The informative presentation was enjoyed by both parents and students alike. Your dancers were very professional and hard working, yet performed in such a way that conveyed joy to the children. It was interesting to see how the ballet steps progressed into other forms of dance. Your pre-school instructor was quite impressive with her patience, warmth, and creative flare to expose young children to beginning dance steps. My own daughters, now grown, had the privilege of dancing many years at your academy. I believe Logrea to be one of the best studios in Westchester. "
" My daughter Sarah has just begun lessons at the Academy with Miss Vivian (on Tuesdays at 3:45) â€“ and she is having the time of her life. The experience has been so special for her that I wanted to thank you for all the care and thought you have put into creating your program. "
" My daughter is where she is today because of the dedication and commitment that she has learned through the Logrea Dance Academy. She has developed self-esteem, responsiblity and a lovely character. As a teenager, she now knows that when you give a 100% and more the results can be awesome. Thank you, Logrea, for all that you have added to her character. "
" As an orthopedic surgeon, having been in practice for almost 15 years, I have had the opportunity to treat a multitude of young dancers for injuries. Let's face it, ballet is a high-demand form of athleticism, and like all sports, there are injuries. Because I have an interest in ballet, in particular, I have made it a point to learn functional anatomy, that is, how the anatomy works to support the activity. I enjoy having the dancers come into the office so I can evaluate what they can do to treat an injury, rest a sore area, or modify the barre to accomodate an injury. When I evaluate the dancers from Logrea, it is akin to working with professional athletes. The dancers are extremely knowledgeable, and technically skilled to the point where even the 14-year-old dancer is able to determine at what point during relÃ©ve the foot hurts, what stretch helps the ronde de jambe, and how the vamp of the shoe affects the arabesque. Obviously, the level of instruction is so far superior to any school I have had experience with, that I wonder how one could send their children elsewhere. I am amazed at the number of teenagers I see from other schools who are en pointe who don't even know the names of basic steps (such as grand pliÃ© in second position), or who do an arabesque from an improper foot position. I wonder if the parents of Logrea students realize how lucky their children are to attend a school of such excellent quality? Perhaps I am the lucky one, as I have two daughters in the school, and I have had the opportunity to objectively observe some of the alternatives. "
" I studied ballet myself for many years, so I'm particular about where I send my child for dance training. And the training at Logrea Dance Academy is excellent! "
" As challenged as they are by the ballet technique itself, by the high expectations of their instructors and choreographers, and by the notion of juggling serious dance study with all the other demands of school and society, Logrea Dance Academy students become part of a remarkable community distinguished by its mutual support, cooperation, respect, dedication and relentless determination.
Whether or not he or she seeks a career in dance, a young person comes out of this program with countless priceless assets: personal confidence, the willingness to take worthwhile risks, an enormous appreciation of the human body, an understanding of music and timing, the ability to organize and prioritize, the ability to put correction and criticism to constructive use, the ability to memorize quickly and to transform verbal concepts into physical formsâ€¦ not to mention strength, flexibility and lovely posture. "