About A Terre

Artistic Director

The school is directed by Danielle San Paolo, a Fontana native and graduate of UCLA's World Arts and Cultures/Dance department.

 

A Terre School of Dance offers classes for children starting at age three up to teens and adults. We are committed to serving our community, so our services extend to any individual regardless of their age or level of experience.  We offer a level system for students who aspire to develop into professional dancers and open classes for students with unique personal goals.

 

Students have the opportunity to perform in two comprehensive ballet productions a year.  As a school, we are committed to spending our class hours on technique. We schedule rehearsals outside of class hours. We develop original choreography for our ballets in collaboration with all dancers.  Our work is shaped by the individual people performing the work. 

 

Students at A Terre School of Dance are given a unique training experience.  Each dancer is challenged, encouraged, and championed to grow into the individual they are destined to become.  In essence, we realize many students may not dance professionally, but we value the role of dance education in preparing any individual to become a successful, healthy adult. We also recognize that each individual dancer's journey should bring them fulfillment.  We watch students grow in self-esteem, leadership skills, teamwork, responsibility, physical wellness, and dance technique.  At A Terre, we are committed to spending our class hours on technique. We schedule performances and rehearsals outside of class hours. 

We are A Terre

Danielle San Paolo began learning ballet and numerous other dance styles through the City of Fontana Parks and Recreation with Laura Torres at age 7. As a young person, she desired to dance professionally, but did not have the resources to access professional training. After graduating high school, she became involved with a missions organization, Youth With A Mission (YWAM). While working with YWAM and living in Kona Hawaii she was blessed with a roommate who was a professional ballerina from Korea.  Her roommate exchanged ballet coaching for English tutoring.  Danielle has since lost touch with her missionary ballerina roommate but she credits that experience as her classical training entry point.  She later continued her ballet training with Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, MS (summer 2007) and then Light of the World Ballet in Syracuse, NY (fall 2007-winter 2008). Returning from New York, Danielle began school at Riverside Community College where she trained with Sofia Carreras. While completing her bachelor's degree, Danielle began teaching ballet for Word in Motion Dance School. She started to realize that her city and the surrounding communities were lacking classical ballet training centers.  In an effort to fill the gap, she established A Terre School of Dance with a group of students she inherited from Word in Motion Dance School.  Danielle received her B.A. in World Arts and Cultures with a concentration in choreography and dance in June of 2012.  In order to support her work with students Danielle become a professional ballet class taker.  She has had the opportunity to learn from incredible instructors most notably: Charles Maple, Hannah Przyludzka-Karacic, Kristin Hakala, Stella Viorica, Tong Wang, and Stefan Wenta.   She also had the opportunity to spend a season with Inland Dance Theatre 2017 and Anaheim ballet 2018.

 "Although I began late and my training experience was unconventional, I keep pushing forward because ballet is more than any particular company or generation of dancers. Ballet is a discipline and a  living legacy that requires a unique devotion that I happen to possess. I hope to share this devotion with a generation of dancers.  Ballet teaches us to be honest.  It's hard work, and the standard is incredible.  Solid technique takes years to build and virtuosity is only achieved through the combination of that effort and talent. At A Terre we accept that we start there on the ground and like anything else that comes from the ground we build until we can no longer.  That effort to grow is our story"