Jennifer Basile has been involved with Pioneer Valley Ballet for 16 years. She is a past parent, former board member and president, and current volunteer and committee member. She came to PVB when her daughter, Emma, picked ballet over the other types of dance she was learning. Jennifer found out about PVB from a co-worker and knew its reputation of being the best ballet school in the Valley.
Jennifer appreciates the level of instruction and care with which the students are taught. She says: “I felt that Emma was learning more than ballet. She was learning an appreciation for music and how her body could work with that music. Emma also learned so many life lessons that have shaped the young adult that she is today. I believe she has been successful in navigating her college years (she is now senior) because of her discipline and dedication to being a dancer. To survive in both the dance and school worlds, while being a young teen, takes savvy, perseverance and a sense of humor. Emma and her friends did it, and did it well! (Well, with a little drama thrown in there, too!)
“I also always felt that Maryanne and Tom really worked hard to make the students successful no matter the skill level. They always find a way to make the dancers shine in the roles they are given. Lastly, my daughter always saw PVB as a place she could go and forget about any other problems she was having, and that is something that as a parent you just don’t mess with!”
Her favorite part of being involved with PVB was that, since she spent a lot of time at the studio, backstage, and at meetings, she was able to have an up-close view to watch her only child flourish into an amazing young woman both on and off the stage. She got to watch Emma and her friends grow up into young women who found a common passion and helped each other through all of the ups and downs of not only the dance world, but also of being a teenager. She reflects, “Emma is still close with the girls from this group and I am so happy they have remained connected!”