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Tag Archive for adults

Leigh Purtill Ballet Interview with Leigh Purtill

Leigh Purtill of Leigh Purtill Ballet in the Pasadena/Los Angeles, California, area teaches beginner through advance ballet, including pointe. In Leigh’s words, she puts her dancers on stage! They perform at least twice a year – a spring show and Nutcracker.

She also has an amateur ballet company, Leigh Purtill Ballet Company, which is for adults only. In the past, the Company has performed small sections of Leigh’s original ballet, Sweet Sorrow, at venues such as the popular horror convention, Scare LA, in Pasadena and at the ARTNight Pasadena. They will be producing the full length version in October as the first full ballet of their repertory.

Leigh is always looking for performance opportunities for her students so they can experience dancing on a stage in front of an audience, learn choreography and costume design, and in some cases, fulfill lifelong dreams. She loves hearing from students that their dreams have come true when they finish a Nutcracker or other story ballet she has produced.

Leigh’s proudest moments as a teacher occur when she sees beginner students who have never performed in front of an audience or on a stage, who have never played a character or danced choreography, really blossom on stage. Then (more…)

Aspire Dance Studio Interview with Alexia Liavas

Aspire Dance Studio in Thousand Oaks, California, is owned by Alexia Liavas who is also the Company Director, a Choreographer and one of the teachers at the studio. Aspire’s mission statement is “We nurture and feed the soul, body and mind through dance.”  It is a place of nurturing through dance.  They teach their dancers to be the best they can be—not only in dance, but also in life.

In Alexia’s opinion what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that Aspire truly has amazing teachers who care about each and every student.  Each student dancing at Aspire is not just a number in a class, but an individual.  According to Alexia, they are there to help each student reach their highest potential and to be their best!  They also honor the artistry and history of dance, and go beyond just teaching “steps.”

Aspire offers beginning through advanced dance classes for students from 2 years old through adult. The classes they provide include Toddler Classes, Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Stretch & Strength, Tumbling, Jazz Technique, Musical Theater, Boy’s Classes and classes specifically for teens and adults.

In addition to offering dance classes, Aspire is the (more…)

The New Ballet School Interview with Dalia Rawson

The New Ballet School (NBS) in San Jose, California, is an American Ballet Theatre Certified School, and provides expert ballet training with a focus on dancer’s health. Additionally, child development classes are available for toddlers of the pre-professionals and drop-in adults featuring live music in the classroom. Providing unparalleled training for serious pre-professional ballet students, The New Ballet School is proud to feature the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum.

In the opinion of Dalia Rawson, the Executive Director, what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is their focus on training the “whole dancer.” Keeping in mind each student’s physical, emotional, and psychological health equips their students for success in whatever career path they choose and sets NBS apart from other rigorous classical ballet training programs.

Training at the New Ballet School focuses on developmentally appropriate instruction and dancer health for each student. Their certified teaching staff has many years experience bringing high quality artistic training to students ranging from 18 months to 22 years old.  The majority of their staff has danced professionally and understands firsthand the elements required for an artist’s development.

Dalia’s proudest moment coaching is when they see their students succeed, both with placements in professional companies and (more…)

Studio of The Month – Broadway Training Center

Broadway Training Center (BTC)   in Hastings on Hudson, New York is celebrating their 25th season this year. Located in a historic landmark building, BTC has a small town feel with big time professionals. They have comprehensive training in dance techniques at every level plus acting, voice, and Musical Theater departments for Kindergarten through 12th graders and adults! They offer classes 6 days a week throughout the school year and summer performing arts programs Kindergarten students through Adults. Their classes include various levels and combinations of Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Lyrical, Voice, Music, Improv, Hip Hop, Drama, Acting, Musical Theater, Broadway Jazz, Vocal Performance Cabaret, and Storyteller Theatre.

Their mission is to inspire, nurture, challenge, amaze, educate and empower artists and audiences. BTC is a not for profit 501c3 organization run by a board of directors and a small administrative team.

Broadway Training Center of Westchester, under the artistic direction of Jason Brantman and Fiona Santos, was recently awarded Best Theatre Classes in Southern Westchester by Westchester Magazine.  This premier performing arts school provides children, teens, and adults with Broadway oriented performing arts training focusing on the joy of accomplishment and the enrichment of personal expression through classroom and performance work.

At BTC, (more…)

East Bay Dance Center Interview with Bonnie Sita

East Bay Dance Center (EBDC) in Oakland, California, creates more confident kids through dance. East Bay encourages their students to cross train in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, African Dance and tumbling.  They emphasize individual accomplishment, team work and a non-competitive supportive atmosphere.

In the opinion of Bonnie Sita, Executive Director, their dance studio stands out among other dance studios because they believe in teaching the “whole child” and enhancing confidence and life skills through dance. They do this by recognizing that every child is uniquely talented and feel it is their honor to support them in taking this talent to its ultimate expression.  Everyone is a star in their studio!  They also partner with the parents to provide what they really want and need – a supportive, safe and fun activity for their child that is making them stronger, smarter and more confident. In 2003, East Bay was named “Best Dance Studio in East Bay” by Oakland Tribune and in 2014, Parents’ Press named them “Best of the East Bay.”

Bonnie’s proudest moments coaching is\ when she watches the kids that she taught grow up in the studio and then come back and work for her during the summer as teenagers and young (more…)

Beck Center for the Arts Interview with Melanie Szucs

Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood, Ohio, is more than a non-profit organization that combines professional theater with arts education. They./x create art experiences. They are committed to creating art experiences as individual as the people they serve with eclectic performances to suit many tastes, education opportunities for all ages and abilities, community outreach programs, and free art exhibitions. They believe that the arts can be transformative and strengthen their community.

Beck Center offers over 200 award-winning classes, programs, and lessons for children, teens and adults in dance, voice, music, theater, visual arts, early childhood, outreach, and Creative Arts Therapies, serving 3,000 students each week.

In the opinion of their Associate Director of Dance Education, Melanie Szucs, Beck Center’s Dance Education program is one of the most comprehensive and well-respected in Northeast Ohio. Beck Center’s highly qualified and caring dance faculty has a combined 310 years of experience in the classroom! For eight consecutive years, Beck Center’s Dance program has been recognized as Best of the West by West Shore Livewell Magazine.

The success of dance at Beck Center is greatly due to their fabulous staff. Each of their instructors is highly talented as well as committed and devoted to their students. Melanie (more…)

Newport Dance Theater Interview with Kimberly Davis


Dancers need a loving place to grow into artists, and a safe place they can come to where they feel at home and where everyone shows respect and care for each other.

Newport Dance Theatre in Costa Mesa, California, is intertwined with, and located in the same facility as, Newport Dance and Fitness. They interviewed Kimberly Davis, the Owner and Director of Newport Dance Theater and Co-Owner, with Bristin Andreae, of Newport Dance and Fitness. unnamed

The dance studio was started by Kim’s mother in 2005 and is still family owned and operated. Most of their dance teachers have, or are in the process of receiving, college degrees in dance or have been teaching dance for over 15 years. Their studio offers classes for adults and children starting at 18 months old. Their wide variety of dance classes includes; ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, tumbling, lyrical, and contemporary. Their classes appeal to children of all ages and levels. Whether they are recreational dancers looking to take a weekly class for fun or more dance-focused and striving to be a part of their dance competition team, they have a place and a class for everyone.

Their focus is on teaching the highest level of dance technique, (more…)

Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance Interview with Dana McGuire

Team PhotoPriscilla and Dana’s School of Dance in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area, is a place to learn, grow and have fun. They provide dance instruction for dancers of all ages and abilities. According to Dana McGuire, Co-Owner of Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance, dancing and owning their own studio runs in the family especially, when you consider that Priscilla is Dana’s mom.

Dana believes that every studio is unique in its own way. She believes that P and D has an unbelievable staff.  They all love what they do, and truly want what is best for each dancer.  In addition, their dancers are very well-rounded.  One of the most common (and rewarding) compliments they get from judges is how versatile their dancers are. They excel in tap, jazz, ballet, musical theater, contemporary, lyrical, and hip hop.

Since 1969, Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance has provided professional dance instruction in both recreational and competitive classes in tap, ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical, jazz and hip hop for children ages 3 and up.

They provide their dance classes in two formats – Combination Classes and Technique Young Girlclasses. All combination classes (i.e., ballet/tap/jazz) perform a routine in P and D’s annual recital. P and D’s specialized technique classes are (more…)

Idaho Rhythm School of Dance and Music Interview with Robbie Walker

team photoIdaho Rhythm School of Dance and Music in Nampa, Idaho, is not just in the business of teaching dance moves and music theory.  They are passionate about inspiring people to go for their dreams; to feel confident and valued as they work to improve their talents by setting and achieving goals, working consistently towards their better self.  They recognize that most families are not aiming for professional experiences on Broadway.  The families are looking for a loving and safe environment where their kids are free to explore and discover their unique abilities.  Idaho Rhythm is honored to assist in that process.

Robbie Walker, Director of Idaho Rhythm, believes that their studio is different from other studios because not only is it their mission to be More Than Just Great Dancing™, their dance moves, music, and costumes are extremely family friendly.  You will never see their dancers in sports bras and booty shorts on the stage dancing provocatively to music with a negative message.  All of what they do seek to support, lift and create confidence of the dancer while grandma and grandpa are able to enjoy the show.

Another way they are different is that they save families time and extra money by (more…)

Tap Fever Studios Interview with Larisa Hall

soloAccording to Larisa Hall, Executive Director, Tap Fever Studios in San Diego, California, provides accessible dance opportunities to people of all ages, with and without disabilities. They empower students to achieve their goals through the performing arts.

Larisa believes that their dance studio is different from others because they try their best to remove the obstacles that may prevent someone from dancing by offering dance scholarships for those with financial hardship due to family expenses, medical expenses, or educational expenses, and by making accommodations for people with disabilities.

Tap Fever Studios is a non-profit dance school that has something for everyone! With an array of classes that complement their focus on tap dance, people from all walks of life learn how to mobilize the rhythm from their hearts. Students are offered a strong foundation through fun and dynamic classes that accelerate basic skills into fantastic moves. All the major disciplines are represented: tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and partner dancing. Their programs provide accessible classes for people with disabilities, scholarships, and leadership mentoring for teens! In addition to dance classes, they also offer dance-styled (Zumba-inspired) Cardio Tap fitness classes. They offer dance classes for all, starting at age 2 and have dance classes (more…)