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Lamorinda Ballet to close its doors

Beloved ballet school in Moraga to shut down on March 21.

A friend just told me that Lamorinda Ballet in Moraga, which has been an amazing training ground for young dancers, is closing March 21. Business has slacked off because of the economy, and the owner decided she couldn't sign a long-term lease.

My friend tells me some of the girls who attend the school have been crying for two days, and some of them haven't slept.

“We all had a bond,” says Lynne Homeres, who has owned the school for 18 years. “I’ve had some of the students since they were three years old.”

Having attended a number of their performances, I know how passionate these kids are about dance. They have spent much of their lives at the school.

Homeres, who once danced for the San Francisco Ballet, says that at 61 years old, she can’t consider reopening elsewhere. She says she could afford to pay the rent at least until the end of the school year, but Homeres says she is being denied a month-to-month lease. She says many of her students will go to other schools in the area, but they will have to audition, and there may be logistical as well as financial obstacles.

I have to admit I think it's tragic that these girls and young women are losing something they love so much. If you saw them dance, I think you would, too.www.lamorindaballet.com.