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While studying ballet and jazz at Valley Oak School of Dance, I learned so much more than dance steps. I gained confidence and a host of skills that have helped me conquer college, law school and the professional world. In dance, as in life, the more you practice, the better you perform. Thanks to Leslie's extraordinary gift for bringing out the very best in her dancers, I learned the benefits of hard work, how to collaborate with my fellow dancers and the importance of respecting and caring for my body. I am not exaggerating when I say that every time I enter a court room, I can still hear Leslie's voice in my head saying, "Shoulders back, head up." Thank you to Valley Oak School of Dance for these lifelong gifts. You have made all the difference.

Jennifer Stone

I have had the pleasure of knowing Leslie for over 25 years. My three daughters have all danced at Valley Oak School of Dance under the careful instruction Leslie since the oldest 5, middle and youngest both began at 3 years old.  Over the years, VOSD became a “home away from home” for my girls. Leslie has a unique way of making every dancer feel special while looking to instill not only the techniques of dance but also confidence, poise, self-esteem and respect for their fellow dancers.  Continuing classes each new season was never a question, because dancing through VOSD became a special part of their lives. 
Over the years as my girls attended Ballet, Tap and Jazz classes, I have witnessed the care, patience and devotion that Leslie has given to her many students. Whether it is a recital year, Oakdale Rodeo performance, Holiday special performance, or maybe a few dancers who entertained a Care center, Leslie makes sure every dancer will have their moment to shine with clever choreography to fit the level of ability of each dancer. 
I also have had the opportunity to help behind the stage with Leslie for many recital/productions. I am in awe of how Leslie handles herself with the many challenges of putting on such a production. With not only choreographing many dances by herself and staff, working with facility staff, props, managing lighting etc., Leslie’s main concern is always for the dancer. The hope is that every dancer will perform with strength, confidence, and grace and to execute each step while enjoying their time on stage.  For each of my girls, 15 years of dance classes with Leslie was not quite enough.  As I have watched many dancers graduate and move on, there are always tears of happiness for them to have been a part of something special but also sadness to leave the family of dancers they have belonged to.

Susan Buttler

Valley Oak School of Dance was a second home to me for 15 years. It is where I fell in love with ballet as a little girl and developed into a confident dancer as a teenager. The teachers here are extremely talented and knowledgeable in many forms of dance. They are passionate when it comes to training their students and emphasize proper technique, offering corrections in a positive manner. In addition to being gifted chorographers, they are mentors and role models to their young students. Not only did this studio help cultivate my abilities, it grew and nurtured my self-confidence, which has carried through to my adulthood. I will always cherish those days spent with my dance family. Valley Oak School of Dance will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Jordane Strasser

I love Valley Oak School of Dance!! I started with VOSD as a young girl and danced all through high school. When my daughter was able to start dance 11 years ago, there was no question where she would dance. Valley Oak School of Dance has given us more than just the technicality of dance. We developed confidence, poise, and friendships that will last long after our days at the studio thanks to the amazing teachers at VOSD.

Kelly Allen

I started dancing at Valley Oak School of Dance when I was just three years old. From my first dance class to my last one I always felt so welcomed. Every single day I was so excited to attend class because I was always learning something new. VOSD is not just a dance studio, it's a family I will cherish forever. I am still very close friends with the girls that I started dancing with at three years old. Some of my favorite memories include sharing special moments with my fellow dancers and teachers, such as the classes we took every day, and the productions. While attending VOSDI learned so much more than the art of dance. I learned patience, hard work, how to help others, and what teachers who truly care about you look like. After dancing at VOSD for fifteen years, those are some of my favorite memories that I will hold close to me forever.

Kylea Dunnagan

I was a dancer at Valley Oak School of Dance for nearly 15 years. I started dancing there around the age of 3. My time there was so special and I miss it everyday. Everyone at that studio became my family over time. I even met some of my very best friends there and made so many amazing memories that I will never forget. Dancing at VOSD became something I always looked forward to. I couldn’t wait to see my fellow dancers and amazing teachers. The studio became my second home. Throughout all those years I had so many learning experiences and did so many fun things like productions, dancing in the rodeo parades, and even performing in Disneyland. I have learned more about patience, kindness, and uplifting others all because of VOSD. They gave me a dancing heart and for that, I will forever be grateful.

Maddy Bragg

My life would not be the same without VOSD. They gave me the best foundation a dancer could ask for and the courage to pursue my dreams inside and outside of  dance. I started at VOSD when I was 5 years old and from the countless hours at the studio to the many different recitals, everyone I danced with became family. I couldn’t be more thankful for every hour spent in the studio.

Amy Craig

I had the pleasure of taking ballet, tap and jazz classes at Valley Oak School of Dance for 15 years but I received so much more than a dance education. At 3 years old, I cried every time my mom dropped me off yet Leslie was always able to soothe me and get me into class-where I seemed to be fine once class started. VOSD truly cares about each of its dancers and I’ve watched that same warm welcome continue to countless children over the years. I’ve always considered VOSD a second home. Even after spending hours in the studio I always looked forward to dance (after about age 4 that is) and gained so many friendships over the years. VOSD offers a production every other year which allows a full year to focus on technique. I learned discipline, confidence and an appreciation for dance. I’ve been involved with every production since 2001 (even after moving away from Oakdale) and can confidently say every production is original, creative, and seems to run almost flawlessly due to the level of care and attention put into it. Speaking as someone who has seen every facet of VOSD-as a dancer, employee and friend-I have only positive things to say about this studio and the wonderful people running it. 

Hannah Butler

My favorite childhood memories revolved around this dance studio. Leslie, Petra, and Chelsea have always played such a large role in my life, both in the studio and out. They pour their hearts into their students and share their love and talent like no other. The community that is formed and the friendships that are made are ones that last a life time. It has been such a blessing having been raised there and I am so thankful for everything I have learned.

Sydney Hastert

This will be my daughter’s tenth season with VOSD- and we couldn’t be happier about our experience with this high quality studio. The level of training, the technique and skills taught, and the high standards of the organization are second to none! It has been a honor to watch my daughter grow at the guidance of this talented and supportive staff!

Lissa Jones

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