The beauty of the seasons recently was celebrated by more than 200 dancers of the Darien School of Dance at Darien High School.

The youngest ballerinas from the Mom & Me class were "valentines" dancing with their moms in clouds. The winter season also featured snow angels, ice skaters and reindeer. Spring included rainy day tappers, bluebirds and baby lambs. Summer featured dragonflies, sunshine and patriotic Fourth of July marchers, while fall encompassed back-to-school shoppers, harvest princesses and falling leaves.

The finale showcased a Degas painting that came to life as the oldest dancers stepped out of a frame to dance.

Founded by Brigita McLeod, director and ABT certified teacher, the school offers classes in pe-ballet, jazz, yap, Mom & Me and ballet with an emphasis on classical ballet training.

"I wanted this to be an educational as well as an enjoyable experience for the children," said McLeod.

"Dance education is not just about memorizing dance steps. We also learned about great works of art, music and literature and included this in our dance education. Our dragonfly dance, for example, was first performed by the legendary ballerina, Anna Pavlova, over 100 years ago.

"The children also become familiar with composers of classical music and learned about the vast repertoire of famous and not-so-famous ballets. Our snow angels, as another example, danced to the `Waltz of the Snow Flakes' from `The Nutcracker,' while the ice skaters recreated the lesser known Les Patineurs ballet."

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