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Marysville Performing Arts Centre Interview with Emily Price

Emily PriceMarysville Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) in Marysville, Washington, owned by Emily Price, focuses on dance education in a noncompetitive environment creating a foundation in which students (ages 1 ½ to Adult) have the ability to learn discipline, self-confidence and the beauty inherent in dance while participating in a positive and fun learning environment. The building blocks of movement and dance that are taught by their faculty of trained professionals establish an emphasis on correct alignment, technique and a positive self-image, while still allowing for the creative expression and personality that shines through each of their dancers. The value of hard work shown by the students is reflected and highlighted in their annual recital, as well as other performances throughout the year, where students show their growth and find pride in their many accomplishments. The tools students gain at MPAC will aid them holistically in all their life’s endeavors and translate positively to their future and the community.

Emily believes that the reason MPAC is separated from other dance studios is that they are accessible. She says they have some students who come once a week because they are just testing out the waters, want an activity to do after school, or this is just what fits into their family budget. MPAC also has some ambitious young dancers who come regularly throughout the week and have excelled quickly because they are choosing to follow dance into their future by taking multiple classes and private lessons. MPAC also has a sister program, Charity Dance Project, that allows them to give free classes, raise money for 501c’s and give back both from the staff and the students. In the last year they have had two rounds of free classes and performances that have raised over $1,300 for charities including getting water to third world countries and helping the homeless youth in their community.

According to Emily, believe it or not, her proudest moments have not been dance related. Yes, she will cheer and applaud when her students finally get that double pirouette for the first time or her little tappers get their pull-backs. But her proudest moment was when a student who had not been dancing very long, but had really been working her tail off for 2 to 3 years came up to Emily with a book that the student had written for her culminating project as a senior in high school, published and everything, with a dedication to Emily in the front, and the student told her she had inspired her. It really hit home that what we (the Dancing Balletteachers) do in these classrooms goes so much beyond the discipline in a step and carries over to the outside world.

Emily understands that it is very hard as a dancer not to constantly berate yourself and tell yourself that you could have done better, but the biggest mistake she sees her dancers make is when they are on the verge of a breakthrough, but something’s just a little hard, and they get frustrated and stop really trying or quit altogether. Not because they do not want it, but just because they have to work for it. MPAC has a quote hanging in their studio that says, “The moment it gets hard is the moment you need to keep pushing.” They just need to stop, take a breath, and try again.

She says that she would love to keep seeing new faces at her studio! According to her, they were blessed last year with a small jump in enrollment and she is hoping MPAC keeps reaching out to people, keeps the discussion open about what their community needs and then makes it happen. Emily also has two extra special projects next year. In December, they are doing a Jazz Nutcracker instead of the traditional ballet. This is not something they have done before so it is her goal to make it fabulous! And next spring they are partnering again with Charity Dance Project to raise money for the Melanoma Foundation. They have never hit $700 in one show before so she thinks that is a great goal in the aid of Melanoma research.

In truth, Emily did not start Marysville Performing Arts Centre. It was there for nine years before she came along and is now in it s tenth year. Initially, she was an instructor at MPAC, and to keep a long story short, she could not see all the students there out of their home, she had worked in plenty of dance studios before and decided this was going to be her next big thing. It has been three years since she purchased the studio and she is Kids Dancergrateful for the foundation that was here then, and is excited about where they are and where they are going.

MPAC has a great little boutique where they sell all the dance essentials. They also take donations of used items that they then resell to raise money for their scholarship program. They have a small staff of well-rounded instructors. Two of these instructors, including herself, are also school teachers. The instructors are really there because they love working with youth and seeing their students shine



If you would like more information about Marysville Performing Arts Centre, visit their website at, call them at 360-651-9000 or email Emily at

Please post a comment if you have had any experience with Emily Price of Danceworks of Marysville Performing Arts Centre.

Written By Cyndi Marziani

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