I am the mother of a first year competitive dancer at TDI. I grew up playing travel hockey, soccer and baseball. I had four brothers and a sporty younger sister and I knew little about dance. My husband has one brother and spent his childhood leisure time golfing, playing computer games, and following sports like football and baseball. He knew about as much about dance as I did. So, nothing. Not surprisingly, we have learned a lot this past year! Yet, despite our lack of experience, we have had a fantastic season with the Petite Company and we want to say “thank you”. It is your philosophy and your commitment to excellence that has made this learning curve a smooth and enjoyable ride!

When we first began to consider dance for our daughter, I did my research. I want you to know that your commitment to age appropriate music, choreography and costuming immediately put us at ease. We have been so pleased to see that the promise that our "kids will remain kids" is honoured. Since joining the dance world, we have spoken with many work colleagues and other friends who have their children in other dance companies. They have often shared how they envy our position – knowing that our daughter is learning dance, but not at the unnecessary expense of losing her childhood innocence. For that, we want to say, “thank you”. Furthermore, the studio material projected an image of professionalism, and in every way, you have met that standard. Classes begin punctually with knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers who maximize their teaching time and provide feedback that is individualized, clear and purposeful. Information is communicated with all the necessary details and available through a variety of mediums. For newcomers to the dance world, this has been so helpful. Finally, all rooms are clean and all materials are functional; the high quality image projected on the website is, indeed, the reality of the studio.

Similarly, your pledge to help each child achieve his/her best is the type of rhetoric that many schools and extra-curricular organizations claim, but rarely deliver. However, somehow, you have found that “magic combination” of expecting each dancer’s best effort while keeping the experience fun and engaging. We have found that your high standards for effort, character, attendance, punctuality and appearance, coupled with your encouragement and descriptive feedback have helped our daughter improve so much this year. She looks forward to seeing her friends at dance, but seems to have an equal joy in learning new things and proudly shares with us the moves she can now do as a result of her lessons. She is learning about respect, resiliency, integrity and teamwork. She has grown stronger, more agile and is becoming more flexible. What more could a parent ask for from a dance company?

We know that behind the scenes of any organization there are many things the majority do not see – frustrations, discouragement and stress, just to name a few. We want you to know that we are so thankful for your dedication to the dancers and their families at TDI; we appreciate all that you do to make TDI so fantastic! Three years ago, Steve and I were a fumbling pair of “fish out of water” knowing nothing about dance and knowing no one at the studio. Today, when a real estate agent canvassing the neighbourhood shared the going price of house sales in our community, we had no interest, even though the values were much higher than we expected. A previous plan we had once had, to move to Markham so I could be closer to my work, has been put on the back burner; it would be too far away from the TDI studio and we hope to stay here for a very long time!

Again, with many thanks,

Janna and Steve Cylka