Garri Dance Studio, located in Burbank, was founded in 1958 by Peg Garri. Peg was a talented, well-rounded dancer who worked as an MGM Stock Dancer alongside popular entertainers such as Shirley Temple and Donald O’Connor. Now in their seventh decade, Garri Dance Studio has provided opportunities for students of all ages to participate in quality performing arts classes. GDS has earned the Burbank’s “Best Dance Studio” Award continuously since 2007 according to the Burbank Leader Reader's Choice Poll.
GDS is an enrollment studio, running on an academic calendar with a year end, fully costumed stage performance every June. Dance, music and musical theatre lessons are offered for all ages and levels, toddler through adult, beginners to advanced students. Dance classes include ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre, hip hop, contemporary & mommy and me. Piano, voice and guitar lessons are also offered. Teaching staff is made up of a diverse group of choreographers and dance educators with a wide range of experience from professional dance company members to industry professionals.
In 2002, under the artistic direction of Megan Baade (also voted “Best Dance Teacher” by the Burbank Leader Reader’s Choice Poll), curriculum was expanded to incorporate the Visual & Performing Arts Standards for off-site dance programs. For over a decade, Garri Dance Studio has partnered with many Burbank Unified Schools offering customized After School Programs, Artist in Residencies both in person and virtual, as well as Professional Development Workshops for BUSD Staff. Through its BUSD partnerships, Garri Dance Studio has continually sponsored Burbank Unified Students each year, currently almost $7,000 per year, and growing.
Garri Dance Studio is conveniently located in the heart of the beautiful Magnolia Park District in Burbank. Thoughtfully designed and renovated to better suit the needs of its growing student base, the studio offers three dance rooms with sprung wood dance floors, exposed brick, natural light, high beam ceilings, ballet barres and mirrors.
TK, Kindergarten and 1st Grade Curriculum Laura Walter - Music
Education Through Music is a language-based program in which song, movement and interactive play promote emotional, social, cognitive and musical developments. It is the study of artful teaching and the process of learning. Based on English language songs, it is designed to promote the study of sound and the acquisition of language. Together with movement, these build the imagaic system and symbolization processes, thereby laying the foundation for the building of intelligence.
Laura Walter received a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from the University of Kentucky. She studied flute with various members of the Cincinnati Symphony, New York Philharmonic and the London Symphony. She serves on the faculty of Westmont College and also performs with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Opera Santa Barbara, as well as local choral societies. Laura has performed with several orchestras across the country, is active as a clinician and competition adjudicator, and has established and conducted flute choirs at colleges and festivals across the country.
2nd Grade Curriculum Garri Dance Studio - Musical Theatre
It's showtime!! Garri Dance Studio’s Musical Theatre program will be filled with musical hits! Students will warm up their bodies and voices through traditional warm-ups, theatre games and improv. They will sing, dance and act while learning about Broadway Musicals and Theatre!
3rd Grade Curriculum Meriel Stern - Visual Arts
Meriel Stern is a sculptor and Teaching Artist living in Pasadena, CA. Her art work is centered on the morphology of the natural world and its relationship to the narrative of human experience. Shecreates and teaches a wide spectrum of art education classes in area public and private schools, develops unique arts infused curricula and programming, provides leadership and mentoring for emerging artists and educators, as well as, professional development opportunities for schools and arts organizations. Meriel's specialties: Ceramics, Sculpture,Crafts, Project-based Learning, Sequential Lesson Planning, Elementary School, "Art as Matrix"
4th Grade Curriculum Joshua Evans - Filmmaking
Joshua Evans is the owner and camp director of Act One Theatre Camp, an interactive summer camp experience which focuses on campers exploring the many exciting facets of theatre and performance. Forced to pivot to a digital platform for two summers of the Pandemic, Act One became a leader in introducing filmmaking to young performers, and was able to showcase the creativity of campers not only from the SoCal area, but from around the world! In the summer of 2022, Joshua brought his camp back to live theater as they re-opened their in-person program, this time setting up shop at the Glendale Community College. However, the creativity and joy of the campers' self-made films from the Pandemic would not be left behind, and has instead been thoroughly incorporated within the camp's curriculum. Allowing campers and students to experience the world of performance from both in front of, and behind the camera not only increases their joy of performing, but invites them to express themselves using different mediums. Writing, casting, filming, directing, acting... there's something for everyone in Filmmaking!
Working in children's theatre since 2004, Joshua Evans has been teaching at summer camps and after-school programs across the SoCal area. A graduate of Washington State University (BA Theatre Arts), he is also a writer, director, and producer of short films and comedy sketches. The two short films that he wrote and directed were shot in eleven different countries, and were showcased at film festivals both at home and abroad. Along with a handful of network television credits, he has appeared on various stages all over Los Angeles. When he's not busy chasing down his four year old son, or ramping up for another summer as the Camp Director for Act One Theatre Camp (www.actonetheatrecamp.com), Joshua teaches a year-round Saturday morning Improv Class in Glendale, and is a published author of "Lights Up" a children's theatre book of plays (available on Amazon). More information can be found at www.skewedevansproductions.com.
5th Grade Curriculum Andrew Grueschow - Music Scoring
Andrew Grueschow is a LA based percussionist with an interest in music the world over. He has traveled to Ghana, West Africa several times. Studying the music of the Ewe and the Dagombas, and recording traditional drumming for Zadonu Records. Andrew is a faculty member at California Institute of Arts, where he teaches in the African Music and Dance department and the World Percussion department. For the last 20 years Andrew has been teaching percussion based workshops. Often focusing on the music of Ghana and composition/performance of original works, in schools throughout Southern California for the Music Center Education Division, Segerstorm Center for the Performing Arts, LA County Office of Education, and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
He has been actively involved in curriculum and lesson plan development for all of the arts institutions he is affiliated with. Andrew has extensive experience leading teacher professional development with the Music Center, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and special projects such as the Music Learning National Consortium LLSN & Technology Enhanced Arts Learning TEAL. "Scoring a Story" These student workshops will empower students to score a story. Students will create their own patterns, and make choices about the elements of music to create their own original music that will pair with a story that is appropriate for their grade level. We will work as a large group to practice ideas, and then do independent creative work in small groups, scoring individual parts of the story. The small group work gives us a chance to engage many of the speaking and listening aspects of common core, and as students are making choices about their musical elements, they will be asked to show evidence in the text of their story to drive their musical choices. All aspects of the VAPA music standards are covered, as students engage the playing of music, but also the literacy of music (reading and writing their own patterns). Along with the focus of building student’s musical skill, teachers will also gain understanding of the social-personal development that music making can facilitate (focus, teamwork, listening, etc.), and integrating through parallel processes between music and other curriculum areas (tracking, decoding…).
Please consider donating to the Family Giving Campaign so we can keep programs like these at our school. Click below to get information on this campaign, including our benefit levels.