Lareen Fender’s The Ballet School Performing Arts has been in Walnut Creek since 1976 and is one of the longest running businesses in existence on North Main Street. Lareen Fender, the founder of the school, created a truly remarkable foundation. Lareen started a school where artists could foster their passion for dance and theatre. She created a legacy by having taught thousands of students over the history of The Ballet School. Her attention to detail and clean lines were her trademark. Lareen honored tradition and kept The Ballet School very true in the midst of media and pop culture. She held steady in her teachings and her philosophies through all of it. Lareen never wanted to have a school that “competed” or wore “skimpy costumes.” She wanted children to stay children so they would grow to respect themselves and their bodies as they grew into teens and adults. Lareen instilled many life lessons in her teachings. She was a marvel. She passed away in August 2011 after a 10 year battle with cancer. Through her passion and love for the arts she led her school and students to the top of all fields; dancers, actors, doctors, teachers, mothers, fathers, lawyers, CEOs, and on and on.