About Scripps Performing Arts Academy

General Information

“A humankind abandoned in its earliest formative stage, becomes its own greatest threat to its survival.”
Maria Montessori, M.D.


What do Directors, Angela Amoroso, Miah Nwosu and Drew Skinner have in common with Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Masaru Emoto, Dr. William Tiller, Dr. Fred Alan Wolf, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Maria Montessori … NY Times Editorial Observer, Lawrence Downs and the Integrative Medicine Departments at major hospitals?

They all agree… Environment Matters!

Demonstrated in the parable, “The Emperors New Clothes” we are reminded how a few people can lead populations by fear and override logic and truth.

Placing young children in stressful environments before they have had the opportunity to develop their own natural abilities, core strength, mental focus and the necessary emotional intelligence promotes an environmental disadvantage that can be detrimental for their overall lifetime achievements.

Most of us are familiar with Charles Darwin’s first opus, The Origin of Species , that “hooked society” to a distorted view of the “survival of the fittest.” However, what many do not know is that Darwin himself said that his first work by itself was incomplete. His equally great second work, created later in life has been ignored and is almost unknown. The Descent of Man demonstrates how humankind arose through the “higher agencies” of love and altruism. It is through love and cooperation that we, as people thrive and survive. This secondary work and ultimate understanding for what makes us human has been grievously ignored. In fact, this incomplete understanding may well be at the core of how modern society has turned everything we know into a competition, leading the downfall of overall health and well-being.

Evidence of a new generation born into this “distorted subjective competition” is wreaking havoc on our youth and families. The coincidental rise of bullying, obesity and violence, among our youth is surely worth the exploration.

All children develop and enfold in their own unique time. There are continuous rises and plateaus throughout childhood and young adult life. Supporting young people by offering nurturing and creative programs with inspired learning to enrich their lives and maintain their parasympathetic nervous system is the healthy choice. When a young person is subjected to competitive extra-curricular activities and academics that are not developmentally age appropriate, we find chronic stress releasing hormones of adrenaline and cortisol “perpetually leaking” into their systems. These challenged immune, digestive, and nervous systems produce a plethora of health challenges from stomachaches, weight gain or loss, behavior disorders and so much more.

The popular 2009 documentary film, “The Race to Nowhere”, came into being after director Vicki Abeles discovered that the pressures of school, homework, tutoring and extracurricular activities were making her middle-school daughter physically sick. The notion that her daughter, a seemingly ‘normal’ teenager, had been diagnosed with a stress-induced illness was a painful wake-up call and a catalyst for change.

This is why the performing arts was never meant to be a sport. Art is subjective. In sports, you do not lose points because you didn’t smile enough while you scored that goal. Nor did you "lose points" if your uniform was wrinkled or didn’t have the right sparkle. When you attend the Symphony, Ballet or a Broadway Show, the entire audience leaves smiling or singing a tune. Consider when you leave a sporting event, 50% of the fans leave disappointed. We still love sports and the thrill of the game but there is a big difference between objective and subjective competition, especially when the pressure is on a young child.

The arts were meant to inspire balance- physically, mentally and emotionally- offering integration with the right and left hemispheres of the brain for higher learning.

Simply, at Scripps Performing Arts Academy we inspire learning from the inside out, rather than trying to motivate students from the outside in. We utilize age appropriate costumes and choreography. We produce beautiful and meaningful dance and musical theatre productions in lieu of dance competitions and year-end, lengthy recitals.

Attend a complimentary class and Experience the Difference!

Please request a copy of the financial difference between Scripps Performing Arts and a general Recital Based/Competitive Dance Studio program.

We look forward to seeing you soon! Both on stage or in the audience!

What people are saying


"There's this misconception that pursuing ballet while also studying to apply to top colleges doesn't coincide. Scripps Performing Arts Academy proves this is not the case - if anything, it's the exact opposite, and definitely was such for me. I was able to pursue dance at a pre-professional level, dancing many hours every week at the Academy, and landed a spot at my first choice college. A large part of the success I had in the college application process was BECAUSE I am a ballet dancer, not despite it.

The teachers here recognize that not all their ballet students necessarily want to become professional ballet dancers. Rather than pushing that fact under the rug as so many pre-pro ballet schools do, Scripps Performing Arts Academy embraces it and works with the students to tailor their schedules to allow them to pursue whatever it is that they want, while still fully immersing them in strong ballet technique. Similarly, the combination of discipline and creativity the Academy instills in students lasts a lifetime.

As a rising junior in college, I've been interning on Wall Street in Aerospace Defense Investment Banking. I've had senior directors compliment me on my ability to balance large amounts of very technical financial work while still bringing creativity to the end product. I can honestly say this comes from what being a ballet student at Scripps Performing Arts Academy taught me: discipline and a strong work ethic, rolled in with artistic creativity.

I know that I will be benefiting from what I learned at the Scripps Performing Arts Academy for many more years to come."

Rachel Doehr
SPAA '12 graduate, Pursuing a Bachelor's Degree at Claremont McKenna College on Full Academic Scholarship

"This has been a wonderful year for Faith at Scripps Performing Arts Academy and we are so grateful for all that you ladies do for your dancers. For me, it is so great to watch her blossom and grow in such a safe and nurturing environment. For Faith, the dance studio feels like her home away from home and she loves every minute that she spends there. We are so fortunate to have landed at Scripps Performing Arts Academy so many years ago. I know nothing about dance, but I do know that I can always lean on your guidance to help my daughter get where she wants to go. Thank you for that!
We are looking forward to a another wonderful year!"

Dace Corlett
Parent of a Current Pre-Professional Student