ABOUT US

The Las Cruces School of Dance & Music has been providing high-quality instruction to dancers in southern New Mexico for more than 20 years. During this time, we have achieved a wide-spread reputation for excellence, with many of our students gaining acceptance to top performing-arts schools and universities.

Our Dance Program

 

A dance studio is more than just a fun place for childhood activities; it is a place where your child will spend countless hours over many years. Because of this, your child's health and happiness is our priority. 

Our Faculty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Monique spent ten years working in New York City as a dancer, actress, singer, and model. She eventually returned to her home state of New Mexico where she has been a successful studio owner for over two decades. Monique has trained extensively with many of the world’s top dance instructors including Franco De Vita, Raymond Lukens, David Howard, Peter Schabel, Madame Darvash, Chet Walker (Theatre Dance, esp. Fosse), Frank Hatchett (Jazz), and Germaine Salzburg (Tap). She also toured with State Street Ballet's production of The Hollywood Nutcracker in 2002 under the direction of Rodney Gustafson. While in New York, Monique expanded her repertoire by studying at the Singer’s Forum and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. (She completed her degree in Theatre Arts at NMSU.) She is the only instructor certified through Level V in the American Ballet Theatre’s rigorous National Training Curriculum in the region and holds a teaching certificate from Teacher Training Program of the legendary David Howard. She is also a certified health coach from The New York Institute of Integrative Nutrition. In 2016, Monique helped found Borderlands Ballet Company as its artistic director.

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Janelle Hernandez has been dancing for over 17 years, primarily under the direction of Monique Foster, beginning at the Alamogordo Academy of Ballet and currently at the Las Cruces School of Dance & Music. She has taught ballet and jazz classes for over ten years and enjoys choreographing and sharing the joy of dance with her students. Janelle has performed in numerous roles and productions with AoB, LCSDM, NMSU, and other local organizations. Some of her favorites include: the Woodland Glade Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Pas de Quatre in Swan Lake, Kitri’s friend in Don Quixote, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Arabian and Spanish in The Nutcracker. Janelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, with a supplemental major in Law & Society from New Mexico State University. Janelle has been a member of Borderlands Ballet Company since 2021.

Monique Foster

Owner

Ballet Levels I-VI

Pas de Deux

Tap I

Janelle Hernandez

Pre-primary & Primary

Jazz I & II

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John Pohl (JP)

Men's Ballet 

JP (as he prefers to be called) studied ballet in Florida. He spent two years on scholarship at the School of American Ballet’s Summer Intensive as well as the Rock School Summer Intensive. He currently teaches at Las Cruces High. JP has performed in LCSDM’s productions of The Nutcracker (Nutcracker/Cavalier), Don Quixote (Basilio), A Christmas Carol (Young Scrooge), and as Dumpy, the Ugly Stepsister (Cinderella). He has been a member of Borderlands Ballet Company since 2021.

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Mariah Hernandez

Jazz III

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Brittany Hymer

Tap II & III

Brittany has been studying with Monique Foster for 15 years and attended the dance program at Oklahoma City University. She was selected for and attended the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensives in Austin in 2015 and 2016 and has also taken summer intensives with Marina Fliagina (State Street Ballet). In 2015 she traveled to New York to participate in the Dance Teacher Summit where she was able to take classes with Twyla Tharp, Luigi, Mandy Moore and Judy Ann Bassing. ​Featured roles include: Sugar Plum Fairy, (The Nutcracker), Belle (Beauty & the Beast), the Fairy Godmother (Cinderella), and Paulita (Billy the Kid). Brittany is a founding member of the BBC and played Fay L’Amour in Café Noir (2017) and Fate (Carmen).

Mariah has been dancing for over 17 years at the Alamogordo Academy of Ballet and the Las Cruces School of Dance & Music under Monique Foster. She has taught jazz, tap and ballet classes for over a decade. Mariah was a founding member of Borderlands Ballet and has danced lead roles in numerous productions including BBC’s Cafe Noir and as Carmen in BBC's 2019 production. In addition, she has danced in numerous productions for the Las Cruces School of Dance & Music including Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker) and Cinderella (Cinderella). She has taken masterclasses with many renowned artists and companies, including the Moscow Ballet, State Street Ballet, and the New Orleans Ballet

Best Practices

 

  • Our ballet curriculum is based on the extremely selective and rigorous U.S. National Curriculum developed by the American Ballet Theatre. This curriculum was developed by evaluating all other methods in terms of their overall effectiveness, artistry, and long-term safety. The best components of each were adopted while the less effective ones were removed or modified. We believe that the ABT National Training Curriculum is far and away the best approach for both professional and recreational training in ballet.
     

A Healthy Environment

  • Alignment-centered instruction: Our dance instructors work with the students and encourage them to get the most out of their unique bodies without overreaching and promoting long-term problems. A focus on alignment and incremental improvement is very important for the healthy development of your child. 
     

  • Healthy body image: We take pride in working with students of all body types. We focus on physical health, not unrealistic ideals based on weight and shape. Dance is a fun, exciting, and challenging way of improving physical and mental health for everyone.
     

  • Teamwork and competition: Our productions include all the students and each student plays a role in bringing a show to the stage. Our instructors encourage healthy competition for lead roles and also teach the kids that even small part in the corps is important.

Professional Quality Facilities

 

  • Floating floors:  Any reputable dance studio will make use of "floating floors". These floors "float" on a cushion of air and micro-foam which softens the impact of jumps and other athletic components of dance. 
     

  • Dance surface: Our main ballet floors are covered with a high quality marley surface. Marley floors are made of a sheet of specially formulated vinyl which provides optimum traction, especially during pointe work. Our tap floors have real hardwood surfaces to provide optimal sound quality.
     

  • Dance space: Our 40′ x 46′ main dance floors are as large as or larger than all of the modern performing arts venues in the region. This provides a perfect setting for professional workshops and allows us to set choreography at the studio without significant respacing at our performance venues. In addition, the studio boosts a second large dance area fitted with high quality, hardwood floors that are perfect for tap as well as smaller dance classes.
     

  • Outdoor performance venue on location: In 2021, LCSDM constructed a 40' x 20' outdoor stage on its premises -- The Gandy Stage. The stage now includes seating for over 300 audience members, shade cloth, professional outdoor lighting, and a marley floor. We continue to develop this venue and believe that it will become one of the premier performance venues in Las Cruces.