A visit with his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Yesterday, I had the absolute honor of being part of the audience with his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. When he stepped onto the outdoor stage (at 10am) it was the first morning in weeks that the June gloom had already burned off. An assistant with a black umbrella proceeded to be his shade. His Holiness began to see the thousands of people gathered before him under the San Diego blazing sun. He sent the umbrella away and without even a hat for his head, he made himself equal with the crowd and continued to speak for about an hour, undisturbed.

Not surprisingly, I was most moved when the Dalai Lama spoke about education. He was very clear in his disappointment regarding modern education; limited to only information. He was interestingly critical how “Modern Education” does not include basic human values, today reserved only for the religious communities to impart. This leaves the secular community isolated from the power of altruism. The result? Regardless of what the world looks like his holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama is the embodiment of hope; a demonstration that inspires the cultivation of human kindness. No wonder he finds himself most comfortable with college students.

Dalai Lama

This Dalai Lama is interested that the future generations tackle emotion with more attention to inner value “emotional hygiene.” Sharing genuine smiles, a sign of loving-kindness is most important and to refrain from a “negative face”. Recognizing that we are all brothers and sisters in one human family is his message requiring respect for all.

For me, I sat content in doing my part with the Creative Team at Scripps Performing Arts Academy. Together, we inspire our students from the inside out, to awaken to their unique gifts and talents and share them with the world. We help them to recognize that the reason we perform at all is to make our audiences feel good. Leaving the world just a little bit better than how we found it.Nutcracker 2017

I invite you to join us for our early bird fall registration or one of our amazing summer programs and experience the difference. I often say that the Performing Arts is a dress rehearsal for life. Here is where our students practice the necessary core strength, mental focus, and emotional intelligence needed for growth and development. And when you join us for this year’s Annual Nutcracker Production from the audience, you will feel the next generation shower their own particular brand of loving kindness and compassion from the stage. Thank you for choosing our programs.

Angela Amoroso
Founding Director, Scripps Performing Arts Academy

Unleashing Your Child’s Genius

Unleashing Genius!  It is so thrilling for me as a teacher, to have the opportunity to watch young people develop and enfold, over time. I remember when I was in 9th grade when my drama teacher, Ms. W~ (Yes, I can’t remember how to spell her name. To my credit, it was over 40 years ago…) allowed me the freedom to “unleash” my creativity, a life defining moment!

Fast forward, to the early 90’s when I was hired as a Musical Theatre consultant for the San Diego Unified School District. I had the creative pleasure of working with an amazing faculty.  It was my job to create a script from their curriculum for the ESL students of the day.
Mind you, as a second generation, Italian~ I speak only English. Yet, there I was communicating with the genius that is in every child. Regardless of our language limitations, we were able to journey far beyond… via the creative vehicle of Musical Theatre.
Not to mention, there I was, “once again,” negotiating with the faculty for
more rehearsal time. It was firmly pointed out to me, that “once again,” I was casting the “trouble maker” of the class in the leading role. A “trouble maker” who had been labeled “undeserving” by most. By me, simply, “mis-understood!”
This is where I began, with  a young 5th grade boy, named Jesus. He took the bus daily from southeast San Diego to Torrey Pines Elementary in La Jolla. I confess, he was my challenge and my teacher. It was NOT easy. He did not rehearse with any sense of understanding of how important and gifted he really was. Sadly, there was no additional support at home.
At the final performance with 700 students, teachers and parents in the audience he “unleashed” his personal best… and that was just about the best moment… ever… for both of us.
unleashing genius
Unleashing Genius! That’s it! The “one thing” that makes life meaningful in ways that most will never know… unless they too, have the opportunity to have a Musical Theatre experience where we meet our true selves ~ and who we really are!
There are a few places left! Don’t miss the opportunity to “stretch” and unleash your child’s genius with our nurturing, creative and talented staff who translate the passion of life itself, through the magical, creative vehicle of musical theatre!
We’ll See You On Stage or in the Audience!
Miss Angela

Develop your child’s stamina for the New Year!

Happy New Year!

How can we develop and improve our stamina in this New Year?  Not only for ourselves, but for our children too!

According to Mr. Webster, stamina is the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort. That “prolonged state” can also be described as

In the flow
“being in the zone” or “flow.”  Many people believe that the “zone or flow” is reserved for professional athletes or elite level performers. This is not the case! Flow is available to everyone, everyday!

Leading neurosciences tells us that the “flow” is the key for mastery. Developing stamina is the key for creating this state of “flow.”  Therefore, Stamina, Flow, and Mastery may be the very recipe for success!  Mastery of just about anything has a component of self-mastery. More than any New Years resolution, what we are talking about here is a lifetime of intention that can start now!

For ourselves and for our children, developing stamina begins with really good nutrition. School, work and play takes just a bit more these days, than the old “Breakfast for Champions.” Developing stamina starts with optimum fuel and hydration.

New York Times bestseller, Julie Morris, author of 5-superb, culinary treasures has assembled some of the most creative and delicious, nutrient-dense

recipes available for today’s active  families. My new personal favorite “Superfood Smoothies” is the most scrumptious, easy to fix and enjoyable blends for all ages!

Check out this talented, internationally-known pioneer in cooking with superfoods! www.JulieMorris.net

Hydration is also key. In San Diego it is easy to forget that we live in a desert. Proper hydration can easily be missed. Here at Scripps Performing Arts Academy, our middle and high school students often report how challenging it is (with very limited time in between classes) to use the restrooms. Unfortunately, many of them opt out of drinking water because they don’t have the “time.”

On the other hand, I often hear teachers frustration over how lethargic students become as the day goes on. Even in ballet class – barre work is enthusiastically executed.  Then when center floor work begins some students

developing Stamina
no longer demonstrate the necessary stamina to complete the class with their best effort.  What can we do?  Develop Stamina!

Here is one of the most valuable and comprehensive water consumption suggestions I have ever come across:

Promote optimum digestion by drinking 30 minutes before you eat. Never consume liquids while you are eating a meal.  Recommended daily water intake for active individuals is 1 liter of water for every 50lbs of weight. Take the total amount of daily optimum water intake and divide by 4 intakes per day.  Consumed within the following timing.

  1. Consume your first amount of water just as you awaken.
  2. Then again 30 minutes before lunch.
  3. Wait 2.5 hours after lunch and then consume your water.
  4. Again 30 minutes before dinner.

Developing the stamina to support your body and mind-is a reciprocal equation!

Happy New Year! And we’ll see you at the barre!

The Art of Mastery…

The Art of Mastery as described in Webster’s dictionary includes; proficiency, ability, capability; knowledge, understanding, comprehension, familiarity, and command. We are all familiar with the term “Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of None.”

It’s interesting to see how sometimes this is unintentionally translated to our children.

I remember many years ago, one of our clients did not want her daughter dancing more than one-day-a-week. She wanted her to experience all the amazing opportunities offered to children today.  Mom felt that by 12 years old, their daughter would be ready to decide for herself what she really liked, and then she would pursue it.   On the surface this may seem like sound advice. Under the surface is another story.


Like most little girls she loved to dance. However, at dance she was “left behind.” To be proficient at anything, once-a-week is not enough. She wanted to take more class, but she had commitments to something else everyday. What went unnoticed by her parents is that she experienced the same “left behind” syndrome wherever she went.


By the time she was 12 years old, she excelled at mediocrity, “Jack-Of-All Trades, Master of None.” More importantly to note, she had become the “mean girl” to her peers. Completely unsatisfied, she developed a distorted perspective that made her feel like everyone was “better than her.” It is easier to develop the Art-of-Mastery, than to correct years of a corrupt self-image, reinforced by parental good intention.


True mastery is not about being the best at any one thing. It is about being the best you. Inspiring “mastery-of-self” is one of the best ways we can support our young people. Take for example an ice skater or soccer player. Notice I did not say athlete. Both of these sports have reputations for starting children very young as a way to provide an advantage for excellence. However, when we look again many of these children who start early, burn out, develop weak ankles and joints and fall “out-of-shape” as young adults.


Exceptional athletes on the other hand are invested in the long vision. They train and cross train in their youth, interested in being better than they were yesterday.

824 Pre-Pro 16_055
(Side note- Even Michael Jordan was cut from his varsity high school basketball team.)   The same is true for ballet. A dancer who has spent their youth training in ballet can pretty much, do any, dance genre well.


The Art of Mastery for our children is supporting them to establish a sound foundation that will support their dreams.   And believe it or not, professional athletes take ballet. It is the secret foundation for the mastering of every skill.


If you are interested in utilizing a balance for both sides of your brain, an essential key for developing laser focus, core strength and emotional intelligence, then we will see you, and your children this week at the barre. The ballet barre that is. And a ballet education is only complete with performance opportunities that offer a well-rounded experience that serves dreams come true.


If you would like to include these essential performing tools for your child, we are having a “Last Call” audition opportunity for The Nutcracker, Disney’s Elf and The Little Ma Mia Mermaid.

If you’d like to pair your dance lessons with musical instruction, remember piano and vocal lessons by Lisa LeMay are also available at the Scripps Performing Arts Academy.

The Art of Mastery… I call it magic.

mastery childrens dance nutcracker

The Three Questions… What is Most Important in our World?

“The Three Questions” is based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth.  It is a must read for exploring what is most important with your child.  Timeless, these questions have been pondered by great thinkers.  When is the best time to do things?  Who is the most important one?  What is the right thing to do?

Big questions for young minds that are exploring what life is all about. Beautiful illustrations depict a thoughtful boy who relies on his animal friends to help him uncover the answers.  A wise, Yoda-like turtle

named Leo connects the dots for the boy with clarity and heart.

So here we are at the end of September.   The air tonight has shifted, teasing us that fall might be right around the corner.  On the news the weather station threatens the hottest weekend yet.  And back to school schedules are settling into routines…

In San Diego (at this time of year) Mother Nature paints some of the most beautiful sunsets across our horizon. The beach at sunset is one my favorite places to ponder big questions. Another is at the dance studio.

We are delighted to welcome our students back to a year filled with creativity, imagination, and a nurturing environment that is ready to help these young people explore their unlimited potential.

Jade Smiling
It you haven’t already reserved your place for this year’s annual holiday Nutcracker- Please join us today! The magic of the Performing Arts offers young people a dress rehearsal for life.

It all begins in the ballet class… where a child gets to practice how to slow down their mind, and ultimately find the answers to their greatest questions…

“Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now.    


The most important one is always the one you are with.  And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in the world.”

Excerpt from the “Three Questions” based on a story by Leo Tolstoy by Jon J. Muth

Happy Nutcracker to All!