Five-year-old wins free year of classes at Wilton Dance Studio

Wilton Dance Studio's co-owners Brenda and Mark Froehlich wanted to find a way to give something back to the families that are so supportive of arts education. They decided to surprise a lucky family with a special thank-you for students who attended the dance-based performing arts camp at the private dance school this summer. For every week of camp a student attended, his or her name was entered into a drawing for one free year of dance lessons.

On Friday Aug. 3, one little girl's name was pulled from all the rest. And the winner is ... Lauren Minor.

Lauren is a five-year-old Wiltonian starting kindergarten in September. Her favorite dance activity is the Pizza Game. This is a child-friendly stretching activity created to activate major and minor core muscles as well as to lengthen hamstrings in the backs of the legs. She also loved dressing up in a beautiful yellow and white lace tutu when she performed a version of the Yellow Fairy variation from Sleeping Beauty.

What will Lauren be taking in the fall? Initially a beginner Tap & Jazz class, but upon hearing the news that she is the lucky winner she said, "Oh, that means I can take ballet, too!" While the school specializes in a leveled classical ballet program, the student has the opportunity to choose from ballet (including pre-ballet and creative movement), jazz, contemporary, hip hop and tap classes.

The drawing all started on the last day of camp, when camp assistants and local students Jackie Cahill, Parker Mavis, Julia North and Jamie Friedman were handed lists of all the campers. They were asked to write each one down on a separate piece of paper. The girls went straight to their task but eventually curiosity got the best of them: "What is this for, Mrs. Froehlich?" one of them questioned. "Oh ... you'll see" replied the school's director with a sparkle in her eye. "I bet it's for the drawing for free dance classes!" one bright helper exclaimed.

"The summer promotion was so well received we will be sure to offer it again next year." reports Mrs. Froehlich. "Every child who is exposed to the arts, whether it be performing or visual art, finds they are on a more positive and expressive pathway for their future."

The Wilton Dance Studio's fall registration has started. Classes fill on a first come, first served basis; enrollment is also offered online at On Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1 from 1 to 6, there is an open house at the studio, at 941 Danbury Road. For more information, call 203-544-9007 and leave a message or visit the school's website at