What Parents Say

“Jennifer I would like to thank you so much for all your direction, support and encouragement you’ve given Jamie over the last year. His achievements are already far greater than we anticipated and you’re always there for him to answer his questions. For that and for everything else we will always be grateful. Keep up the good work. The kids need more people like you. Thank you Brenda Scheel”
“Jen here is a favorite poem, that when we thought of you and what your classes have meant to Kaitlyn, it came to mind.
‘Some people come into our lives and quickly go… Some stay for a while leave foot prints on our heart and we are never the same’
Jen, your classes have been challenging and fun… they help to build confidence, self esteem and individual worth in ones self. You have helped her realize that we all have a choice and a voice in life – achievement, commitment and a determination and dedication to seeing things through. These are but a few of the things we see.
Thank you Tom and Katherine Finner”
“Lorelei was enrolled in many things during the past year… Sparks, dance, swimming, curling, soccer and Amateur acting class… there were times when she didn’t feel like going to every one of these activities, with one exception, acting class… there can be no better endorsement for you and your program… Cheers The Daleys”
I have only praise for drama classes with Jennifer Laale. My daughter has always liked to act and joke in private with a select few, but in public, she was quiet and intimidated. Once only on the sidelines feeling alone, she can now hold her own in any situation. Instead of walking away hurt from put-downs, she has her taunters falling down laughing. And she smiles all the time. Laughter, like music, is a universal language: she now knows she has something in common with everyone. The kids say there is nothing much to do around here once you are over 10. Obviously, they haven’t met Jennifer… yet!” ~Patricia
"Enrolling Kelsey in your class has been very beneficial to her. She has gained so much confidence in herself and I’ve seen how much care you take to recognize the unique individual qualities of each child, all the while teaching them to work in a group. Yours Truly W.J. Wagner"

What Students Say

You remain always a source of inspiration and optimism. It may sound trite, but my time as your student really was life-changing in so many positive ways. I need only think of the lasting friendships born there, reminisce over the terrific memories and know for certain that what you gave us continues to enrich our lives. Thank you so much for that.

 ~ Be Van DuyVendyke
Thank you for absolutely everything. Going to your classes made me the outgoing girl I am today I loved them and wish I could go back in time and do it over and over again. Best teacher ever. ~ Briar Rose
“I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten the chance to tell you what an influence you’ve made in my life. I would not be the person I am today without you by my side and more importantly I would not be able to accept myself for who I am without your ongoing support. You pushed me to be the best that I could be and I can never thank you enough for that. All I can really say is to never give up on what you do because the acceptance and support and encouragement that you give to your students is so invaluable. Whatever differences they have; you always manage to embrace their differences and encourage them. I grew so much in your classes; I just cannot put my thanks into words. In any case, I will be sure to keep in touch as I continue on through university or whatever direction my life takes... This really isn’t enough; I wish there was some way that I could return what you’ve done for me. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. “ ~Spencer Hahn 17 years old
Thank you to the most wonderful, beautiful, patient, talented acting coach I could ever have, who taught me kindness, confidence, and how to be the very best version of myself. ~Carolyn Packard
Jennifer, I absolutely adore your classes; I don't know where I'd be without them!! :) There was a time when I was to afraid to even get up and speak in front of my class, and last year I managed to get the lead role in my school play! I owe it all to you and I can't wait for this term! Plus, I'm pretty sure I have the most awesome way of earning my volunteer hours by far :) I'm so glad you are who you are and do what you do. :) ~Maleeka Thaker 14 years old + 'assistant extraordinaire'
"I honestly cannot thank you enough for all the great memories and skills I learned in your classes. Self-confidence is something every person should be afforded the opportunity to hone, and I can say for a fact that my time spent in your classes after school has made me more aware of my self-efficacy and confidence in social interactions more than any university class could." ~ Cassie Smith
“ Jen was a person who had been there and done that, she spoke to us from experience and she understood us when we spoke of our dreams and goals. For me she came just in time. Thank you Jennifer Laale. I hope that everyone takes you up on what you have to offer.” ~Josie Geuer former student now Radio Announcer and Manager at Hot 89.9
You've made such a difference in so many lives. You, and drama gave me the confidence to be who I am today and it feels wonderful. ~ Val Goodman
“All these shy and timid kids would show up for her classes and suddenly be transformed into stand up comedians, or dancers and singers. Jennifer teaches drama which counts on the stage. But she also teaches self confidence which counts just about everywhere.” Jeff Semple former student now CBC Radio and Television Newscaster
“How can you thank someone who gave you confidence, who brought out the best in you, who gave you the courage to try new things and to always live life to the fullest… You can’t but you can start with two words, thank you. So here goes…Thank you Jennifer!” ~Kaitlyn Finner 11 years old
“Thanks so much Jennifer you’ve made me the best I could be!” ~Kelly McPhail age 13yrs
You were and still are the best theatre, and improv teacher I've ever had and I owe all my confidence and outspokenness to your classes. I always enjoy seeing how much you inspire those you teach, have a great year! Thanks for everything ~Ben Reside
“Thank you for making my dreams come true.” ~Mikael Bourbonnais age 13yrs
“Drama class is a great place to make new friends and you can be as wild and wacky as you want.” ~Marie Hogan age 12yrs
“I think drama is a lot of fun and laughter comes easy with an awesome teacher and great students. I gives a place for young teens to express and be themselves.”
~Brittany O’Brien age 11yrs
“Jennifer’s drama classes have given me so much more confidence than I would ever have expected! I can now walk out onto a stage and not be self-conscious or worry about what will happen. Before her classes, I thought acting was just something really fun to do, I still do, but now it is a part of my life!” ~Jaclyn Tanner age 15yrs
“In drama you lose your shyness and build your confidence. It’s a fun way to meet people and learn the basics of acting. You feel safe enough to be spontaneous and outgoing.” ~Kat Maika & Ashley Weir age 14yrs
“Drama helped me with… Speaking in public! Trying new things! Dedication! Commitment to myself and others! Confidence! Acting ability! Never doubting myself!”
“About Jennifer… She is a really good teacher. She is outgoing. She is fun to be around because she always makes me laugh. She makes me believe in myself. About Classes… You get to express yourself through plays and acting. You learn about yourself. You express your feelings without even knowing it.” ~Radha De age 12yrs

Lamp Lighter

“Think Positive, Act Kindly, Be All You Can Be, While Having Fun.”

Getting to know Jennifer Laale (pronounced LoLa) is a tad difficult. It’s not because she’s shy or reticent (anything but) and it’s not because she’s standoffish in any way. It’s because she’s so passionate – about what she teaches – and why she teaches – and who she teaches – and how she wants us to teach each other and treat each other – well you get the idea – before you know it you’ve spent a delightful hour talking about everyone she teaches and not her.

I had to get tough. I can tell you the following – she doesn’t eat sugar, loves the colours azure blue and sun yellow, becomes the characters in the book that she’s reading, her favourite fruit is pears, she adores contemporary dance and after several tries decided her favourite movie was What the Bleep Do We Know.

She grew up in Ottawa – loved musical theatre – telling stories through dance. She went to Simon Fraser University to study Business with a minor in dance, and then lit out for the Big Apple – New York. Studied dance there, and then back to Vancouver with more teachers in acting and movement, etc, until she found herself in Europe – touring, and killing herself with work. She stopped.

Fouteen years ago Jennifer discovered Macrobiotics and Wayne Diotte www.macrobioticscanada.ca and a whole new life here in Almonte. Now she lives in Blakeney and helps with the wellness of herself and others. She works out at Tony’s gym, eats only the best food – no sugar, processed foods – and is so busy teaching both in town and now also doing Improv Team Building workshops for the national government, that she’s a whirlwind of energy.

Then I gave up – here are some of her favourite things about teaching. She teaches drama to both kids and adults to help build confidence. It’s not about making her students into the next Olivier (Depp for the younger crowd) but about giving them the skills to stand up in front of a class or meeting and not be tongue-tied with fear. It’s about helping them with new ways of coping in scary situations. (You should see her demonstration of how no one has ever really been frightened by a stage). Along the way they also pick up some acting and improv skills.

Jennifer has a wonderful story about a young girl who when she first came to class had been the victim of bullying, she was a little different from the other kids, a tad dramatic. After doing improv class where she received praise and support from Jennifer and her class mates – she started in a new school – and sure enough the first day – she tripped over her own feet. The books went flying and she fell on her face. The embarrassment!!! But without missing a beat she popped up right away and shouted “Ta Dah!” and everyone around her chuckled with her instead of laughing at her.

That student is just one of many success stories. Jennifer has so many students she’s proud of. She quotes Nelson Mandela

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

So I figure she’s our town lamp lighter. Without her, our kids and our selves wouldn’t shine quite so brightly.

© 2021 Be Your Best / Jennifer Laale