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Piedmont School of Music & Dance Interview with Daniel and Rebecca Wiley

three ladiesThe Piedmont School of Music & Dance (“PSMD”) has locations in the Kannapolis and Charlotte areas in North Carolina. They offer dance and music instruction under one roof at their two locations. The school’s environment is known for being joyful, positive and professional in all aspects. Dance class offerings include the Mila Ballerina® Dance Academy, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Pointe, Hip-Hop and Musical Theater. Their music instruction includes lessons in Music Theory, Voice, Piano, Preschool Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Guitar, and Drums, and Music Theory. The school boosts a teaching staff with affiliations to companies or major institutions such as: The Juilliard School, American Ballet Theatre, Charlotte Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet and others.

Piedmont School of Music & Dance of Charlotte and Kannapolis is the area’s exclusive Mila Ballerina™ Dance Academy! The Mila Ballerina™ program is unique and designed specifically for the beginning dancer. The curriculum provides a healthy balance between structure and fun for their budding ballerinas!

Since 2003, thousands of students have taken dance classes or music lessons at Piedmont School of Music & Dance under the Co-Direction of Daniel and Rebecca Wiley. Piedmont began as a very small one-room studio, but has grown to become a vibrant and successful dance and music school proudly serving the Charlotte, University City, Concord and Kannapolis areas. The school’s multiple locations provide convenience and variety for their valued students.

According to Daniel, PSMD offers top notch training in a positive environment along with the convenience of a neighborhood dance studio or music school.

The beauty and entertainment of their annual Spring Performance is derived from innovative choreography, strong technique and the sheer joy of our students on stage. While glitz and glam can be fun, we try and stick to the basics – great dancing. All costuming and music selections are carefully reviewed for a family friendly performance. In other words, it’s a performance to which you would be proud to bring your grandmother.

Daniel does not have one “proudest” moment while coaching, it is more like a “bunch” of “proudest” moments. Daniel believes that every child is different and he thinks their personal achievements and goals that are reached are all proud moments. Those at PSMD are most proud of the social skills and respect their students take forward into everyday life.

In Daniel’s opinion, diversification is the biggest problem that dancers have. They get involved in all forms of movement offered and treat them all as if they are on an equal playing field.

stolenPSMD alumni have enjoyed professional performing careers in addition to acceptance into the country’s finest universities: The Juilliard School, Boston Conservatory, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Fordham/Alvin Ailey and UNC School of the Arts.

Their dance studio places students in classes based upon their skill level and not by age. To ensure each student is placed in the proper level, a placement class is scheduled with a member of their teaching staff.

Parents are very impressed with the education and professionalism of their staff. The School currently boasts award winning faculty members who have danced professionally and with companies such as: American Ballet Theatre, San Fransisco Ballet, Charlotte Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet. The school’s incomparable faculty specializes in teaching ages three and up. The qualifications of PSMD’s staff is unprecedented.

Each of their dance studios has “floating floors” and a Marley top surface. Their special floors help reduce the risk of injuries and allow students to dance longer without getting tired. A “floating floor” is a dance floor that rests on a system of high-density foam, to absorb the shock of jumping. The high-density foam base is superior to a “sprung” floor, which usually consists of a wood structure built on the regular floor. “Marley” is a vinyl composite accepted worldwide as the best surface layer for recreational to professional dance. It allows dancers to slide but has a great balance between being too slippery and too sticky.

To ensure the best possible instruction for your child, their dance studio limits the number of students in each class. Additionally, one on one attention is available. Individualized attention is critical to the development and progress of dance students. Instructors at Piedmont School of Music & Dance offer one on one attention to every student in each level. Individual corrections provide students with a clear understanding of their specific areas of needed improvement and enable them to reach their full potential. Additionally, written class reports and individual evaluations are made available throughout the year so parents can have a clear understanding of their child’s successes and areas of needed improvement.

Beginning through advanced levels have extended dance class times which can span from 45 minutes up to 2 hours per discipline (Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Pointe.) The longer class times allow their instructors to teach technique and not “just a dance for the year end recital”. Studios that only allow enough time to focus on the year-end recital are allowing their students to miss valuable technical and artistic instruction.

groupPSMD believes that for a student on their way to becoming a good dancer, it is important that the student attends as many of their scheduled dance classes as possible or they may miss new material and helpful corrections. If they must miss a dance lesson, letting their studio know in advance is appropriate. The student should schedule a make up class or ask the school if their instructor is available to teach a private lesson. A private lesson is worth five dance classes!

Because a lot of material can be covered in one class, the student should practice at home. It is very important to review steps, corrections and terminology so they can be prepared for the next lesson. Another way to improve quickly is to stretch at home while doing their homework or watching television.

Additionally, they provide performing opportunities through their not-for profit dance company, Piedmont Dance Theatre (“PDT”). They are in their 13th season. They provide Girl Scouts with opportunities to experience and learn about dance. PDT’s Girl Scouts Program helps to support the Girl Scout mission of “building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place” by providing opportunities for them to participate in the performing arts through dance. This program is suited for students of all ages including Daisy Girl Scouts, Brownie Girl Scouts, Junior Girl Scouts and STUDIO 28.

Over 51,000 school children have attended Piedmont Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker educational performances! Their educational programming affords many students the opportunity to attend The Nutcracker performance at either a reduced rate or free of charge. For many school children this is the first time they will experience the unique sounds and sights of a live dance performance.

Since PDT’s founding, they have offered performances choreographed by world-renowned choreographers and showcasing dancers affiliated with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Jose Limon, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Nashville Ballet and more. They have performed original works such as Pirates!, traditional classics such as The Nutcracker,  and famous non-story ballets such as George Balanchine’s Serenade and Who Cares?

If you would like more information about Piedmont School of Music and Dance, visit their website at, call them at (704) 932-8888 or email them at You can also “Like” them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and view them on Instagram. For more information about Piedmont Dance Theatre, visit their website at

Please post a comment if you have had any experience with Daniel and Rebecca Wiley of Piedmont School of Music & Dance.

Written By Cyndi Marziani

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