Student Spotlight: Contessa Moore and Vivienne Roselius

Contessa Moore and Vivienne Roselius, students at the Claire School of Dance since they were three years old and pictured here in their new uniforms, are moving to Level 3 this year. The two girls began taking class twice a week last year, when they started Level 2. Their diligence and excellent attendance allowed them to complete Level 2 in one year instead of the usual two.
In addition to taking class twice a week last year, both Vivienne and Contessa have taken summer classes the past three years.167
This commitment has resulted in a quantum leap forward in their technical abilities. Their mothers also report a notable increase in both self-confidence and self-discipline, a response echoed by the girls themselves.
This summer, the girls performed in Pillow Chair, the CSD 2016 dance video project in which Vivienne and Contessa are the sole performers.
We look forward to more performances from these two outstanding students.

Photo Day Schedule for Saturday, February 13, at Grace United

Photo Session Schedule

Saturday, February 13th , 2016

We are thrilled to have Houston Family Magazine’s own photographer Alisa Murray back with us again this year. You can see her work at

The photo shoot takes place at our Grace United studio (1245 Heights Blvd, the building with “Grace United” painted on the side).  Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment in order to get your “fairy crown.” Fairy crowns must be left at the school after the photo shoot. Students will get a fairy crown to take home after the Parents’ Day Demonstration in May. Toddler, CM1 and CM2 should wear either black or soft colors such as pink or white. Please do not wear patterns or strong or vibrant colors. Preballet and up should wear their dress code uniforms.

 All photos will be posted to a password-protected website. You choose the photos you want and place your order.  Photos will be mailed to your home.

If you cannot make the class time, you are welcome to come anytime during the photo session for your individual photo.

Teacher Class (time) Scheduled photo time
Ms Ashley/Linda CM1 (Sat 9:30 a.m.) 9:30 a.m.
Miss Courtney CM2/3 Sat 9:30 a.m. 9:45 a.m.
Miss Ashley/Linda CM1 (Sat 10 a.m.) 10 a.m.
Miss Courtney CM1 Sat 10:15 10: 15 a.m.
Miss Phoebe Level 1  Sat 10 10:30 a.m.
Miss Courtney CM3 (Sat 10:45 a.m.) 10:45 a.m.
Ms. Ashley/Linda CM3 (Sat 10:45) 11 a.m.
Ms. Claire CM3 Tues 4 11:15 a.m.
Miss Melissa Preballet Sat 9:30 11:30 a.m.
Miss Melissa Primary Sat 10:15 11:30 a.m.
Miss Melissa Jazz Mon 6 pm 11:45 a.m.
Miss Courtney Tap Sat 11:30 11:45 a.m.
Miss Phoebe Primary Sat 11:15 noon
Miss Ashley/Linda Preballet Sat 11:30 12:15 pm
Ms. Claire Preballet Mon 4:15 pm 12:30 p.m.
Ms. Claire Primary Tues 6 p.m. 12:45 p.m.
Ms. Claire Primary Mon 5 pm 12:45 p.m.
Ms. Claire Primary Wed 4:45 1p.m.
Ms. Claire Level 2 Tues 4:45 1 p.m.
Ms. Claire Level 2 Wed 6 p.m. 1:15 p.m.
Miss Katie Hippity Hop Wed 4:45 1:15 p.m.
Miss Katie Preballet Wed 6 pm 1:30 p.m.
Miss Katie CM 3 Wed 4 pm 1:30 p.m.
Miss Phoebe Level 1 Thurs 4:45 1:45 pm
Miss Phoebe Level 1 Thurs 6 pm 1:45 pm
Miss Phoebe Preballet Thur 4 pm 2 pm
Miss Ashley/Phoebe CM 2 (Monday 4:30) 2 p.m.
Miss Ashley/Phoebe CM 2/3 Tuesday 10 a.m. 2:15 p.m.
Miss Ashley/Phoebe CM2/3 Mon 5:45 p.m. 2:15 p.m.
Miss Ashley/Phoebe CM1 (Monday 9:30) 2:30 p.m.
Miss Ashley/Phoebe CM1 Tuesday 9:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m.
Miss Ashley/Phoebe CM1 Mon 4 p.m. 2:45 p.m.
Miss Ashley/Phoebe CM1   Mon 5:45 p.m. 2:45 p.m.
Miss Cassandra CM 2  Tues 4:30 pm 3:00 pm
Miss Cassandra CM 2/3 Tues 6:15 pm 3:00 pm
Miss Cassandra CM1 4 pm Tues 3:15 pm
Miss Cassandra CM1 5:45 pm Tues 3: 15 pm

Student Spotlight: Serianna Hixson

ny nut 15 seri 1

Serianna Hixson, a student of the Claire School of Dance since she was four years old, has been accepted into the Ben Stevenson Academy of Dance at Houston Ballet, where she will begin classes in January 2016.

Serianna started taking creative movement classes with Ms. Claire at Country Day Montessori School.  Serianna’s mother, Nicole Broyles, says she remembers that experience as a “sweet time, everything was about discovery.”  Serianna’s dad, George Hixson, says “that was when Serianna first experienced dance and it stuck.”  Serianna took a year of gymnastics and then returned to the Claire School of Dance, this time at the Heights locations, where she remained until this year.

Serianna, now a student at Johnson Middle School, says she always wanted to be a dancer. “My training here (at CSD) prepared me a lot for auditions.   Broyles interjects, “She’s always gotten good advice here as well. One of her teachers, Jen Sommers, encouraged her to try out for Houston Ballet Academy, saying she probably wouldn’t make it, but that the experience of seeing the other dancers would put the work ahead of her into context.”  Broyles continues, “It was good advice that prepared Serianna for the hard things ahead.”

Caroline Hamilton, one of Serianna’s classmates and now a student at the well-known ballet conservatory The Rock , was a role model.  Just a little older than Serianna, Caroline set an example of the need to keep on working.  “You have to work hard,” says Broyles, “in ballet the work ethic is fundamental and that’s true in the work world as well.  People in the performing arts are great at sticking to the work, regardless of rejection, and coming up with creative approaches.” Hixson, Serianna’s dad, echoes this sentiment, “A work ethic applies to life in general.”

All members of the Hixson family concurred that one of the important aspects of the Claire School of Dance was its focus on the individual and its supportive environment.  “There’s a sheltering quality that comes from being a small school that gives the girls a certain self-confidence,” says dad Hixson.  “Even if you don’t end up being a dancer, that sense of knowing yourself prepares you for whatever you pursue.”

Broyles chimes in, “That warm feeling of support, of community, of being challenging but comfortable is, I think, unique to the Claire School of Dance.”

Broyles also credits the dance program at Johnston for Serianna’s progress.  “At Johnston, Serianna takes class every day. That has definitely made a difference.  Then too the dance teacher at Johnston, Mr. Peters, is demanding. He makes the students take responsibility for their own development.” Broyles smiles. “Something all dance teachers have in common, I think.”

When asked for her strongest memory of CSD, Serianna says “getting a solo this year helped improve my focus because I could focus on my own dancing. I got a lot out of recitals too because you can see how much you’ve grown year to year. Performing gets you ready.”

Student Spotlight: Caroline Hamilton

Caroline Hamilton, long-time student at the Claire School of Dance, has been accepted into the The Rock’s year-round program. The Rock, a ballet conservatory in Philadelphia, is perhaps best known for training Michaela DePrince, an award winning contestant of the Youth America Grand Prix in 2011 and subject of First Position, a documentary on the Grand Prix competition.

Caroline studied at the Claire School of Dance for ten years, starting when she was four years old. Says Caroline, “I started dance because I wanted to be a ballerina. I enjoyed my classes. I had fun and teachers who were very nice. Then (at age 12) I went to my first Houston Ballet audition. It was an eye opener. I realized that not all students have the happy experience I had. That audition also made me realize how much work I had to do. It helped me find a ‘this is what I’m going to do’ focus.”

After two more years at the Claire School of Dance, Caroline spent an intense year at Houston’s Movement Lab, then began applying to schools outside Houston. “My past CSD teacher Amaris Sharatt gave me a list of schools to apply to, places that would be interested in me, a tall dancer.” Accepted into summer intensives at Alvin Ailey, ABT, and The Rock, Caroline made her decision based on several points. “I got a great family vibe from the Rock”, says Caroline. “They also give hands-on corrections, something I learned to appreciate about the Claire School of Dance. The teachers here (at CSD) want you to “get it” and they will work with you until you do.”

“I took my preparation for granted. My teachers at CSD went slow and made sure I learned to do things correctly. Miss Patty used to bring an anatomy book to class, to show us why we needed to do things a certain way.” Caroline mother, Martha Meyers, interjects “It’s one of the things about the Claire School of Dance that has always been important to me, that training here is appropriate to each student’s physical development. Caroline has never been seriously injured and the one time she had a minor sprained ankle, her teachers never forced her to “work through it.” Instead, they carefully rehabbed the ankle before allowing her to take class normally.”

Meyers continues, “It’s one of the things that kept me coming to the Claire School of Dance – all the teachers are such high calibre and they’re so amazing (in their commitment to the girls). They’ve gone to fit pointe shoes. They’ve taught the girls how to sew their ribbons. They’ve gone to auditions with the girls.”

Meyers didn’t start out with the idea that Caroline would become a professional dancer. “I wanted her to do something athletic,” she said. “What has been important to me, in addition to Caroline’s enjoyment, is that studying dance at CSD has taught Caroline how to work. That it’s not enough to just do a movement. You have to do it correctly and you have to do it correctly 4,000 times. It’s also taught her resilience. This is a hard industry. You’re going to get rejected a lot. It’s hard. There have been a lot of tears. You just have to keep trying.”

One of the things that Caroline treasures most about her time at the Claire School of Dance is the relationship between younger dancers and older ones. “I remember how I looked up to the older dancers and how open they were to us younger ones. I asked one of the older dancers to tell me about pointe shoes and then several years later I was the one telling a younger dancer about them. It’s a circle.”

Says Meyers, “My experience was that the older girls were so kind to the younger ones. That’s a culture that is carried on. There is a history of kindness of older students to younger ones that I think is special.”

Caroline offers a word of encouragement to younger dancers. “Definitely go for it. You’ll get great training at the Claire School. Take it seriously. You should make the most of this great opportunity.” She goes on, “One of the things I’ve learned as I’ve gone to class at other schools is that I’ve received great training. I’ve been blessed.”

Trick or Treating for UNICEF!

Thank you to all who donated to our Trick or Treating for UNICEF drive!  We collected $89!!


The Claire School of Dance matched these donations and has sent $178.00 to UNICEF for program providing clean water, food, and vaccinations to children around the world.


Thanks to Claire Dance families children in impoverished countries will lead healthier lives!


unicef trick or treat

We have our Nutcracker date!

The 2014 New York Nutcracker will be performed at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 14th at St. John’s School.


Be sure to save the date!ny nut 14 trial art

October 2014 Newsletter

New York Nutcracker

Rehearsals for the 13th annual New York Nutcracker begin Sept. 29th. This year’s performance tentatively takes place at St John’s Theatre at 2 p.m. on December 14th (December 7th as a second choice.) We are still waiting from the theatre for our confirmed date. Parents will be notified as soon as we hear from St. John’s.

Participation fee is $125 ($175 for students in two dances), due by October 18th. Children in Preballet, Primary, and Level classes are automatically assigned roles. Children who are not participating must inform the office in writing by October 18th .

Parent letters and permission slips will be sent home the week of Oct. 6th.  It is anticipated that we will have our confirmed date by that time.

New this year:  we are inviting Preballet students to participate in the New York Nutcracker .  AND we are inviting professional dancers from the Houston dance community to perform. We are excited about our changes! This year’s show will be better than ever!

Trick or Treat – UNICEF

We will again be collecting donations to UNICEF. Ask your teacher for a UNICEF donation box and turn it in after Halloween. The Claire School of Dance will match the Trick or Treat for UNICEF donations. And it’s fun!

Pumpkin Decorating Party

Join us Saturday, October 25th, for a pumpkin decorating party 10 a.m. to noon at Grace United.  Purchase a pumpkin from Grace United’s annual pumpkin sale and get free stickers and cookies from Claire School of Dance!

Dance in Houston

Oct. 1 Third Coast Dance Film Fest. Diverseworks. Info:

Oct. 10. MOMIX. Society for the Performing Arts.   8pm.  Jones Hall.  Info:

Oct. 16. Manon. The Royal Ballet. Various movie theatres around town. Check movie listings.

Oct 25. The Legend of Love. Boishoi Ballet. Various movie theatres around town. Check movie listings.



September 2014 Newsletter

Fall Classes Start

Our academic school year begins Tuesday, September 2nd  and runs through Saturday, May 16th.

New for Level 4s!

In addition to welcoming former Houston Ballet member Genie Lanfear to our Level 4 staff, we also welcome gyrotonic instructor Joe Modlin, who will be teaching our Level 4s once a month. Gyrotonic was developed by a former Houston Ballet member. It focuses on developing free movement of joints and stabilization of the body through counter-balance.

yoga stretch


Adult Classes

Pilates classes on Thursday evenings are now at 7 pm!  This one hour class is $15 a class.

Our Saturday advanced beginner adult ballet is now noon to 1:15 at Grace United.  Classes are $15.

Our Sunday intermediate/ advanced  ballet class is held  noon to 1:30 at Grace United.

Drop in rate is $20. Class cards are $150 for 10 classes and $85 for 5 classes. Cards are good for 4 months.

All adult classes are pay as you go. Come join us!



Dance in Houston

September 4-14. Midsummer’s Night Dream. Houston Ballet. Wortham Theater.

September 18-28. From Houston to the World. Houston Ballet. Wortham Theater.

July 2014 Newsletter

July Newsletter


Come to Our Open House!

Saturday, July 12th , from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., we’ll be offering a free photo session, cookie decorating,  and registration and class information for fall classes.

Ms. Claire will be taking portrait photos of each child.  The photo session is free – proofs and prints will be available online. You can see proofs before ordering. Ms. Claire’s portrait work is on display in the Grace United waiting room.

After their photos, children are invited to decorate a cookie in our cookie workshop.

Sandra will be on hand with her laptop to take registration and payment.

 Drink Pink!

Also at our Open House is the Claire School of Dance-sponsored Drink Pink! lemonade stand.  Proceeds from the sales of pink lemonade go to breast cancer programs. Drink Pink!

 Our Summer Performance

This year we perform for White Linen Night, 6 p.m. Saturday, August 2nd  on the boulevard in front of Lambert Hall.  Free!  Join us for lemonade and cookies after the show!

 A Few Summer Spots Left

We have a few places left in Fairy Magic Dance Camp and Cinderella Camp, as well as in Hip Hop Camp and Hairspray, our Ballet ‘n Broadway camp. You can register online at or at our office or Open House. Sign up now!

Fall Registration Open Now

Register early to reserve your spot. Our classes fill quickly!

Claire School of Dance Receives ABT Certification

Claire School of Dance is pleased to announce that it has once again been awarded the respected American Ballet Theatre certification for National Training Curriculum for Pre-Primary through Level 3.