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Business of the Week Academy of Dance Arts, Pleasantville

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Seeing her students reach important milestones, such as learning a dance step for the first time, brings Jennifer Pollock, director and lead instructor at Academy of Dance Arts, the most joy and satisfaction.

Dance instructor Jenna Spivack with some of the students at Academy of Dance Arts in Pleasantville.
Dance instructor Jenna Spivack with some of the students at Academy of Dance Arts in Pleasantville.

Pollock established the Pleasantville-based award-winning school 14 years ago to provide high-quality instruction for dancers of all ages, recreational through preprofessional.

The 5,000-square-foot facility, which offers classes to both children and adults, consists of four state-of-the-art studios, complete with sprung wood floors, mirrors, barres and viewing windows so parents can observe their children during class.

According to the philosophy of the Academy of Dance Arts, once children have the ability to walk and follow simple directions, they are ready to enter the “fun and engaging world of dance.” The idea is to teach them the fundamentals of dance, including the first stages of what will later become ballet instruction, and then watch them grow in the school’s fun and comfortable environment.

“We introduce children as young as two to the thrilling world of dance and love watching the excitement on their faces as they twirl away as ballerinas with scarves in hand and crowns on their heads for the first time,” Pollock said.

A quick glance at the school’s schedule of classes reveals a myriad of choices for everyone. For the preschool-age child, Academy of Dance Arts offers Creative Movement I (for three-year-olds) and II (for four-year-olds), and also a Tiny Toes class geared toward two-year-olds.

For children in grades K-1, the school offers acrobatics, ballet, ballet/tap, ballet/jazz and hip-hop. At second grade and beyond, children can choose from classes in ballet, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical and theater dance. A boys-only hip-hop/break-dancing class is also offered at the school.

Students from six to 18 years old who audition for the school’s dance company have the opportunity to compete in regional, national and international competitions. The dance troupe has won numerous awards over the years.

An exciting new program that’s being offered this year, explained Pollock, is the school’s Master Class Series, a spin-off from the summer intensive program that just ended. It will feature classes in various areas of dance, with master teachers from all over the U.S. The program is open to students of all levels, ages eight to 18.

Pollock, who heads up a cadre of highly qualified dance instructors, is a firm believer in hiring teachers who are strong educators. She is also passionate about sharing her love of dance with students and helping them hone their agility, gracefulness, poise and confidence.

In addition to running the studio on a daily basis, Pollock, occasionally steps away from the business to shoot a commercial or play a part in a film.

As a child, she acted in commercials. In the past year, she began acting again, including a part in the CBS drama “The Good Wife” and the lead role in “Rest in Peace,” an unreleased black comedy.

Pollock, who holds a bachelor’s degree in dance from Ohio University, said the most rewarding part of being a teacher is seeing the excitement in children who love to dance. “I have always loved teaching children and seeing the success of the school through them, and I honestly don’t think there is anything else I’d rather be doing,” she said. “This really has been my calling in life.”

Academy of Dance Arts is located at 17 Marble Ave. in Pleasantville. For more information on the school or to schedule a free trial class, call 914-741-5678 or visit The school also maintains a social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.




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