Testimonials from Southern Dance Theatre Students & Families

If you have danced at Southern Dance Theatre and would like to share your experience, please contact us.  We’d love to hear from you.


Dear Ms. Penni, I could rewrite this email over and over and still not find the perfect words to express how grateful I am of your assistance. Receiving a call from your office to check on the status of Julianna’s registration is a prime example of the extraordinary customer service Southern Dance Theatre offers! It is quite evident you have the best interest of your students (and their parents) at heart at all times. The SDT staff is truly an“exceptional team”, and Julianna is fortunate to be a student of your team! May God bless you always! With heartfelt appreciation, Rosanne H.


Hi Penni. I hope that you are having a good summer. I’ve been meaning to contact you since the recital to let you know what a wonderful experience Emma had. The SDT staff and assistants did an excellent job making her feel confident and happy on and off stage. Emma was glowing for days after the show and has been glued to the recital video all summer. All she has been talking about is how she can’t wait to start classes again and next year’s recital. I personally did not come from a studio that held recitals, and I was apprehensive about the experience for Emma. Seeing the show completely changed my perspective. The show was extremely professional and I was impressed with how SDT brought out the best in every dancer on stage. The recital also gave me a strong level of trust in SDT. I walked away from the experience feeling like you put an extraordinary amount of thought into details. The rehearsal and performance schedules were convenient, the kids were kept safe with the sign in/out system, and the older students were wonderful role models for the younger dancers. The best interest and safety of the dancers and their families was clearly your intent. Thank you for all of your hard work and for making Emma shine! Rachel S.


Dear Penni, We are very happy to share with you that we got an unexpected email from Next Generation Ballet saying that personally Mr. Stark and Mrs. Lemus decided to extend Nicole’s scholarship from 50% to 100% [for 2014 Summer Intensive]. We want to thank you and all the teachers for everything you done for Nicole’s dance education, it means that your are doing an amazing work with our kids.  We hope you continue supporting Nicole’s dream journey to become a profesional Prima Ballerina. Thanks Penni, Teachers, Staff and Southern Dance Theatre. Pedro Gustavo Alfaro


Hello Penni, It’s official now–Nic has been moved up to level 3! He was pulled out of the class and re-evaluated all last week at BAK and passed with the entire department’s unanimous decision. I want to thank you and all of the instructors at Southern once again for all of the wonderful instruction and the strong foundation you are giving him! He has grown so much in the past two years since we came to your school and we look forward to many more exciting years together ahead! Gratefully, Suzanne


Hi Penni, Maddie loves North Carolina.  She is in the top levels and is having a great time.  She told us that her teachers are very impressed with her technique so kudos to you and her other teachers!!  She is very motivated and is even attending “optional” classes. Debbie R.


Miss Penni and Staff, Thank you for another great year and a wonderful recital!! The girls have grown tremendously over the year and all love to dance! You even gain Erika next year!! Thank you for all of your support with Jaden. She is a reflection of a great dance studio!! Amanda M.


Dear Ms. Penni, Just a quick note to thank you so much for joining us at Royal Palm School’s Spring Fling on March 9th.  Many people were making comments as I was in the audience about how wonderful everyone was, especially the Dance Movement students as they danced with Elvis! I think the kids enjoyed themselves as well!  The demo was top notch, as usual and I know everyone loved it! As I’ve said before, some of our “old timers” here at Royal Palm remember the connection with your mom and our school and are quick to make reference to that bond.  That just makes the whole day even more special.  I really appreciate you coming out and supporting our school.  Thanks again! Sincerely, Lori Wilkinson Spring Fling Chair


Ms.Penni, Just wanted to thank you for all Brianne learned at camp this summer, we were able to do three weeks and she feels more confident and ready for the new season.  Thought it was a well organized and implemented program. Phyllis


Dear Mrs. Greenly, Thank you so much for giving me the wonderful opportunity to teach classical ballet to your students. All of your students at Southern Dance Theatre are magnificent and I thoroughly enjoyed teaching them all. Sincerely, Mary-Quinn


Dear Penni, We just experienced our first Southern Dance Theatre recital and wanted to let you know how spectacular we thought it was.  The costumes, the choreography, the music, the amazing dancing, the transition between performances, the lighting, the hair-dos, the efficiency in the way it was run, all the hard work, the sets, the chandelier were perfect. Thank you for a wonderful show. Rob & Nancy


Hello Southern Dance, I wanted to share what Diana’s Therapist Evaluator conveyed about Diana’s progress. As you know, Diana was born with a condition called Hypotonia. Diana’s original prognosis was that she will need the assistance of a walker and sports or any physical activity would not be feasible in her life. But Diana was determined and has exceeded this beyond everyone’s expectations. Today Diana dances at Southern Dance four (4) days a week and is able to dance with her peers. Diana’s doctors and therapist contribute this amazing success to her persistence and what dance has provided for Diana. By all rights, Diana should not be able to stand up right, but be hunched over. Diana not only stands up straight on her own but has complete poise. Diana does not use a walker and had her leg braces completely removed almost two (2) years ago. Diana today is nine (9) years old and is main streamed at school and rides a regular bus now. Dance has been a huge factor in all of this. The components of dance has conditioned Diana physically and mentally to discipline her body to meet its optimum. Dance has also given Diana the confidence to believe in her own ability and not measure herself by others. Diana had the honor of being a soldier in Miami City Ballet’s Nutcracker last year, an experience she will forever remember. Diana’s goal is to one day dance in company at Southern Dance, but for now is excited to be a dance assistant to Ms. Wesa. Where Diana will go from here, we don’t know, but we expect more amazing feats from Diana and you should too…;)

Thank you Southern Dance for allowing Diana to be a part of your dance family, when other studios had turned her away…;) You will always have a special place in her heart and in ours!!! To dreams and wishes, Rose


Dear Ms. Penni, On a personal note, I must tell you how pleased we have been with Southern Dance (this August marks the start of our 2nd year at Southern Dance). Both of my girls love dancing and I cannot find enough words of praise for Miss Julie and how much Emma was inspired by her last year. Also, my younger daughter (Ella, age 4) has grown tremendously as a little dancer and I credit Miss Wesa with bringing Ella out of her shell.  Miss Wesa played a significant role in Ella’s progress because she made tap dance so much fun! I just had to mention how grateful we are to Miss Julie and Miss Wesa. Most sincerely, Ali


Dear Penni, I’ve been procrastinating long enough and finally decided to sit down and drop you a note to tell you formally that my tap class days are over, and to say “thank you” for teaching me to tap dance.  I loved every minute of my classes with you, had such fun, and learned so much. It seems like yesterday when I first started but it was a long time ago.  Just realizing that I am 76 and not a “mere” 66 is enough to give me the shivers.  Where did all the time go? At the start of classes almost every year, a young girl would ask me if I remembered her sister who was in my class last year or two before.  The sister was now either in college or married with children.  I got a kick out of those kids who mentioned me in their homes.  Me, in their dance class, the grandma who taps. Please think of me if you ever develop an all adult class, or if something else comes up which may interest me.  Who knows, I may be back! In the meantime, continued good luck to you and all your students.  I know all the kids are getting professional training and you should be very proud of yourself for helping develop wonderful dancers. Many thanks! With love, Lois