Despite the heat, a group of aspiring ballerinas gathered in July at the studio of the Darien School of Dance at the YWCA Darien/Norwalk for an afternoon of complimentary pre-ballet, ballet and jazz dance classes.

The community is welcome to attend an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4, to meet the teachers as well as have refreshments and receive free T-shirts.

In addition to learning dance in a supportive classroom/studio environment, students are encouraged to perform on stage in the annual spring showcase, which this year was "Seasons" featuring winter ice skaters from Les Patineurs Ballet, spring bluebirds from the music of classical composer Shostakovich and summer jazz and autumn princesses dancing to a Strauss polka. The finale featured a Degas painting that came to life as the oldest dancers stepped out of an actual frame to dance.

These classes were a sampling of the curriculum offered at the Darien School of Dance and led by master teacher and director Brigita McLeod and teacher Missy Almy.

McLeod is an American Ballet Theatre-certified instructor and has more than 25 years teaching and performing experience. Almy has a master's degree in early childhood education and will teachpre-ballet, Mom & Me and tap in the fall.

More Information

Fact box

Space is still available for the fall session, which begins Sept. 9. The 2013-14 schedule can be viewed at www.ywcadariennorwalk.org or www.darienschoolofdance.com.

For information, call 203-912-4804 or email dariendance@optimum.net.