Many of our students, parents & colleagues have sent us many kind words of praise and we thank them tremendously for it. It truly is nice to know that you're doing something right and we thought we would post some of their kind words and positive feedback so that you can hear straight it from them.

If you are a parent or student and would like to submit a testimonial of your own experience with us, we would love to have it and share!

"My daughter loves Ms. Crystal's classes.  She has been attending AOC Ballet for almost 5 years now.  My daughter and I both appreciate Ms. Crystal’s patience and enthusiasm.  We see her as a great teacher who inspires her students to strive for more while staying positive."

-Chie Tieu

"I want to express my deepest admiration for the work that you do.  Your talent as an artist became quite obvious to me watching the beautiful choreography that you put together for the Four Seasons.  I was already impressed with your leadership and your ability to teach and motivate the kids.  With what I witnessed last week, the beauty of the show, the sense of accomplishment and joy on the dancers' faces,  I was blown away.  All I can say is thank you.  I feel extremely lucky to have found such a magnificent opportunity for Cass to develop a wide variety of skills through your Academy. "

-Alejandra Velasquez

"Crystal Petzel has a wealth of knowledge that is rooted in solid technique and revered tradition. What sets her apart is a passion for dance and a deep appreciation for personal expression within it. She takes a genuine interest in each student as a unique artist: recognizing indivdual gifts, inspiring curiousity and confidence, and providing the guidance and encouragement to allow each performer to pursue their highest potential in a nurturing and creatively stimulating environment"

-Annmaria Mazzini
Former Dancer for Paul Taylor Dance Company
& Director of Mazzini Dance Collective

"I have trained with Miss Crystal since I was 12 years old. Now, at the age of 19 I have cherished the training, support, and compassion Crystal has shown me. Crystal was one of my most influential dance teachers I have had in my life. She demonstrates a passion for teaching as well as for her students personal growth. Giving her knowledge, time, and heart to each individual she takes under her wing. She pushes her dancers in the right ways, though it may not always be easy, it is a special trait to find in a dance teacher. With her supportive nature, as a dancer, I knew she only wanted the best for me. She has taught me so much and has helped me grow not only as a dancer but as a person. A dance teacher with such a huge heart and love for the development of new talent is rare and extremely special. I was lucky to have had Miss crystal as a teacher through some of the most important dance years of my life, and owe credit to her for being at the level I am at today with my dancing. Thank you!"

-Lauren Talley

Finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix
LINES dance program at Dominican University-California)

"Crystal Petzel's teaching integrates her knowledge of classical technique with her passion for dancing. She not only coaches her students, but mentors them as well. She is able to build personal relationships with her students through her classes and rehearsals. Throughout my years of training with Crystal I grew both as a dancer and an artist, through her insightful and extremely rewarding teaching process."

-Rachel Talley
Graduate at Purchase College
Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre, NYC)

"Your style of teaching and dedication to the children along with patience with parents was so very appreciated by us. You were strict when needed, soft when needed, and always commanded the best from Maddy. Helping parents understand the place our child was at and future development they needed. We are still today thankful for your teaching us to value the basics. It has served Maddy many times when she is placed lower (usually due to age) to remember that those foundational moves make the stronger dancer. The foundation you provided has paid off ten fold. Maddy is an extremely strong, disciplined, and balanced dancer due to your professional teachings.“

-Susan Kilby, about her daughter Maddy
Sacramento Ballet

“You have been Sarah's main support, inspiration and encouragement. Even though she started ballet rather "late" in life, she felt she could achieve much because of your teaching. You have been a treasure to us.”

Amy & Sarah Sides
Los Gatos, CA

“You are not only a talented artist but a very strong teacher. Amie has learned more from you than any other instructor she's ever had, she has really improved past 2 years thanks to you.”

-Kiyoe & Amie Schneider

" Ms. Crystal is more than just a ballet teacher to me; she is a mentor. Her knowledge and instruction have not only taught me discipline and technique, but have motivated me to become an artist of passion, courage, and integrity. She has given me such a strong foundation that I dedicate my development as a young dancer to her. Now as I am in pursuit in becoming a professional dancer, Ms. Crystal's encouragement still guides me in pursuit of my dreams."

-Adrianna Dougherty
(Graduate of Boston Conservatory

“The Ballet community owes you tremendous gratitude for both your skillful running of operations and the personal care and support that you give to each individual student.”

-Louise Madrid (parent of a former student)

"You are the best teacher I have ever had and I know I can say that for a lot of people. During every combination you come around and give us corrections. Outside of the studio, you are always laughing, asking about school, trying to make everyone happy... You are like a second mom to all of the students. With your creative ideas and choreography I was really motivated to do well and pay attention to my corrections You are funny and loving, dancing with you makes people feel good and brings a smile to their face.”

-A student of Crystal's for over 5 years (name withheld for privacy)

" I have always been greatly impressed by the quality, sensitivity and artistry of the young dancers who have worked under the tutelage of Crystal Petzel. There is always an honesty about their dancing which is truly inspiring in these times of "bash and thrash" movement that seems to have become the norm. It bodes well for the future of the Art Form in our region and the continuing evolution of the Dance as a potent and expressive medium."

Gary W. Masters
Co - Artistic Director, sjDANCEco
Professor of Dance at San Jose State University

"You've introduced our daughter and our family to the wonders of ballet and to excellent teaching. It opened a whole new world for our daughter and added a whole new dimension to our family and life."

-Parent of a Current student (name withheld for privacy)

"With Crystal's training, I have become stronger, both physically and in my technique, which has helped my not only in ballet, but in all areas of dance. Crystal has provided me with the advice that has allowed me to take my dancing to new levels and I feel that her lessons will continue to help me improve in the future."

-Brittany Steacy
(Graduate of UC Irvine)
Seattle, WA

" Ms. Crystal has known me the best of any ballet instructor I have had. She nurtured and guided my work ethic, how I learn, and my artistry along with my technique, and that high level of dedication and interest helped me grow much more dynamically. Ms. Crystal has a stake in the progress and well-being of each of her students and this personal, compassionate connection makes class feel like a safe place. Ms. Crystal knows when to cater to her students needs: when we need to be pushed, when our bodies need to rest, when we need a fun warm-up as a pick-me-up before the second performance of the day. Ms. Crystal is also highly skilled with all age levels: choreographing absolutely delightful segments for the youngest students in performances (and getting them to remember it!) as well as helping older students prepare for auditions and performance roles.

The things I learned about art, the body, and myself in Ms. Crystal's class stay with me even now when I do not have opportunities to dance as often. With videos and outings, Ms. Crystal taught me the history of ballet and gave me an appreciation for the music, choreography, and talent in the old story-ballets and in contemporary ballet. Ms. Crystal taught me for the 4 years of high school: my most formative years as a person, a student, and a dancer, and I continue to reap the benefits I received from the opportunities she gave me."

-Rachel Care

"The Academy of Classical Ballet performed a traditional ballet piece with grace and professionalism in it's choreography and performance skill at my Winter Showcase '09. The piece was an elegant addition to our production and we owe her greatly. Her students clearly shine through thanks to instruction under Crystal."
Michelle Dirk-M Production Company

"The one mentor who continues to positively influence my life is Crystal Petzel. She encourages, supports, and cares for me unlike any teacher in my ballet, academic, and personal worlds. From ages ten to twenty-one, Crystal not only taught me the ballet technique, but also inspired me to dance passionately during rehearsals, performances, and life. Crystal encourages excellence. She learns the individual abilities of her students, and then motivates those dancers to excel to new levels. On hundreds of occasions, I reached unexpected heights when Crystal challenged me in class. I never knew I could turn four times or leap four feet off the ground.

Crystal actively teaches and tests her students. During each ballet class, she suggests parts of our technique to which we should pay special attention. As a young dancer, Crystal gave me the tools necessary to understand how the human body best moves through the ballet vocabulary. She wanted me to know how and why one change in the body’s alignment would better my balance, turn, or jump. Furthermore, she asks her students to visualize their performance before stepping onto the stage. By encouraging such experimentation, she helps her students develop gorgeous artistry to match their strong technique.

Crystal’s eye for detail develops precision and grace in each dancer. An incorrect head tilt, a misplaced foot, or a wilting fingertip never goes unnoticed. Early exposure to such detail trains a young dancer to work with precision and care. This mindfulness transforms her student into a beautiful performer who inevitably captures an audience’s interest. She smiles every day, every class, every minute. Her optimistic attitude in the classroom creates a fun-loving atmosphere. Never have I ever seen disappointment in her eyes. Her energy is unmatched by other ballet teachers I have encountered. Crystal runs around the studio giving individual corrections and offering praise.

Crystal delivers a supportive environment. She innately gives the encouragement and love her students need both inside and outside the classroom. When she senses discouragement or disappointment, Crystal willingly listens and emphasizes the positive. Insightful and intuitive, Crystal has a knack for understanding her students. My bond with Crystal is unlike that developed with any teacher in high school, college, or ballet classes. Indeed, Crystal develops such a relationship with all of her students. Crystal remains forever loyal, trustworthy, and proud of her students. Many of Crystal’s young and old students would consider her the most important member of our dance worlds. We know we may trust her to give excellent advice. Crystal teaches us that one’s performance begins at the beginning of barre and throughout the entirety of a class. Such an outlook has influenced all dealings of my life. From Crystal, I graciously take and practice excellence, precision, drive, devotion, optimism, and love.

She is not only my favorite ballet teacher, but also a most loyal friend. I encourage every dancer, whether young or old, beginner or advanced, to spend time in the classroom with this woman of excellence, respect, and integrity. Thank you Crystal."

-Vanessa Kristine Driscoll
Student of eleven years

Dance Background: Boston Ballet, BalletMet of Ohio, Kirov Academy (also known as Universal Ballet Academy), Ballet San Jose of Silicon Valley, and Boston University’s Dance Theatre Group

I've been able to use a lot of what you've taught me in ballet to improve my animation.  Because you stressed articulation of movement, I find it easier to understand the breakdown of more complex gestures. Everything I learned with you about the joints and muscles of the human body has greatly furthered my ability to animate human actions.

But there is something more that you taught me, something beyond what directly applies to dance or animation. By believing in me, you taught me to have confidence.  Your were always giving me a chance at something new and challenging; being a tree without pointe shoes, filling in at the last minute as a snowflake when I was just the understudy.  Being what I can be and not just what I accept myself as.  I've taken this lesson with me all the way to Southern California and I  will never forget it.  I want to thank you for teaching this to me.  There is no one else who could have impacted me this way. 

- Julia Smith