The Instructors

Ruth Balestra

Ruth Balestra attended her first formal dance lesson at the age of 10, and she received her technical dance training at Kent State and Youngstown State.  Ruth's areas of specialty include Pointe, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Musical Theater and she has used these forms over the past twenty-eight years to create innovative choreography in her dance productions.  While pursuing her Bachelor of Fine and Performing Arts Degree at YSU, she refined her classical ballet and modern dance techniques at Kent State. Ruth served as President of the “YSU Dance Ensemble” at Youngstown State University, and also performed in many YSU theater and dance productions.  At Kent State University, she studied “Lester Horton” and “Jose Lemon” modern dance techniques, ballet and Improvisation.

In 2016 Ruth accepted a partnership with The Moscow Ballet to be a Host school for "The Great Russian Nutcracker". The performance gave students an opportunity to perform in their "Dance With Us Program". This was the second time, Ruth partnered with the Moscow Ballet, so kids in the Youngstown community, could have an opportunity to be showcased.

Between November of 2010 and June of 2017, several of Ruth’s dance students were chosen by New York City, Talent Scout, Peter Sklar, to attend  "TheBeginnings Workshops” in New York.  At the Workshop, Broadway cast members teach students to act, sing and dance.  The workshop culminates in an off-Broadway performance in New York City in front of Broadway directors and producers. Throughout the years Ruth has taken her students to New York to study ballet with Finis Jhung, the former principal dancer with the Joffrey and San Francisco Ballet Company’s as well as dancing at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.  
Ruth’s dance recitals create artistry on the stage.  Students of all ages have been taught to dance, act and sing to the soundtracks of the following musicals; " The Phantom of The Opera"," Mamma Mia", Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella", Broadway's "The Little Mermaid", "The Lord of The Dance", "Wicked", "Tangled", "Jersey Boys", "Newsies", "Swan Lake", "An American In Paris", "Singin In The Rain and "Aida".
Ruth is a former choreographer for the Youngstown Play House and the Struthers Show Choir as well as several high school dance lines.  Ruth also taught dance at St. Luke's preschool and Kindergarten at Holy Family.  Ruth's primary goal is to teach ballet technique and flexibility in all of her classes, with a special emphasis on proper alignment and safety awareness.

Kaitlynn Kurdziel

Kaitlynn Kurdziel performed the female lead role of  "Lise", in our 2016 performance of "American In Paris".  She has been studying  Pointe, Ballet, Jazz, Modern and the artistry of Musical Theater with Ruth for 10 years.

November 26th, 2017 Kaitlynn was chosen to perform "The Spanish Dance", with the Moscow Ballet through the "Dance With Us"  program which took place at  the DeYor Performing Arts Center in Youngstown.  She was one of the few to perform a Pointe duet with the Moscow Ballet.  She was also cast as a Pointe dancer winter of 2017 in "Nativity, The Hope" which took place at The Youngstown Playhouse where she was cast as an "Angel".  

 Kaitlynn has danced and acted in many of Ruth's choreographed productions. including the Green Witch's mom, in Ruth's production of "Wicked".  She also acted, sang and danced as "Jetsam" in our choreographed story of "Broadway's Little Mermaid". 

Currently, Kaitlynn attends Youngstown State University double majoring in dance management and exercise science, she is also a dancer in the YSU Dance Ensemble. She is also currently training to teach Body Strengthening and Step Aerobics classes for Ruth.

Her technique and discipline in Ballet will help her serve as an excellent role model for her students.

Studio Policies

Lessons

All dance classes will be held at the 721 Building, located at 721 Boardman-Poland Rd., Boardman, OH.
The Fall Schedule starts the 2nd week of September each year and runs through the 4th week of June.
The Entire schedule runs in four week sessions, excluding the month of December, which is a 3 week session.

Attendance

Ruth's Dance & Fitness Co.,LLC centers on the development of strong dancers through teaching the principles of Ballet, Modern Dance and Jazz techniques. To ensure a highly successful program, there is an inherent need to have constant attendance by the students. If a student misses more than 5 classes during the year, a doctor's note will need to be presented, furthermore, if a student habitually misses class, he/she will be omitted from the recital. Teamwork is essential throughout the year and performances will reflect the commitment level of the students working together. If there is a need to miss a lesson (family emergency, illness), please call the studio to report off at 330-782-6785.

Missed and Make-up Lessons

Missed lessons due to poor weather conditions may be credited to your monthly payment. However, if classes are missed for illness or extenuating circumstances, it is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the instructor to receive a group make-up session. All monthly payments will remain the same amount for lessons missed when students fail to come to class.

Cancelled Lessons

There may be a time when lessons will be cancelled by the instructor due to weather, instructor illness or travel. Cancellations due to weather will be reported on local news stations under the name of Ruth's Dance & Fitness Co.,LLC . Also, if you call the studio, there will be an appropriate message on the machine. When classes are cancelled by the studio, a class may be made up or credited for the month. If a lesson has to be canceled for any other reason, it will be announced in class in advance, or we will call the students' homes.

Monthly Payments

All payments must be turned in the first week of the month. Please follow the payment calendar that is handed to you at registration. Any payment past 30 days will include a $10.00 late fee for that month. Due to building rental, payroll, utilities, etc., the studio cannot have an interruption in cash flow.

Costumes

The order for costumes is paid up front by the studio. In order to guarantee your costume comes in on time a 40% down payment must be paid by mid March. A payment plan will be set up for you for the remaining balance. All costume payments must be paid in full two weeks before recital date or students will not be permitted to perform in the annual recital.

Performance Opportunities

All Dance students will be expected to perform in the annual spring recital. Depending on the class, there may be optional performance opportunities through local competitions, fairs, or demonstrations at Assisted living facilities. Check with your instructor for more details.

What to Wear to Class

Leotards and tights are the only acceptable forms of clothing for class. This is necessary so that the
instructors will be able to check body alignment and proper execution of movements. T-shirts, jeans and school clothes are not acceptable for class. Please, if you are arriving from school or work, bring the necessary clothes to change into for your lesson. Proper shoes are required at all times – Ballet or Jazz shoes for respective classes. You can find the items you need at any dance supply store, catalog or local retail outlet.

Cost for Lessons

1st dance class                         $52 /mo

2nd dance class (+20)         $72 /mo

3rd dance class (+20)           $92 /mo

4th dance class (+20)          $122 /mo

For those students taking multiple dance classes, the first class is $13.00 with each subsequent class at $5.00. All classes are paid monthly and are PREPAID during the first week of each 4 week session. This policy will be strictly enforced to alleviate poor attendance (Four week month = $40.00). See above.