Academy of Dance Arts dedicates itself to making dance fun for all ages.
The school, located at 17-19 Marble Ave., offers programs for children as young as two years old as part of Mommy N’ Me classes and has had some of its students successfully compete in various competitions.
The school, founded by its artistic director Jennifer Pollock 12 years ago in Thornwood, offers instruction for those wanting to just have some fun and dancers who hope to develop into professionals.
“We offer a broad spectrum at our dance school,” Pollock said. “I think there is something for everyone.”
Now located in Pleasantville, Pollock was able to expand to its current 5,000-square-foot space with four studios.
“It’s a nice size space,” Pollock said. “For the kids we have, it’s a good fit. It allows the kids to have enough space to do what they love to do.”
Recently, Westchester Magazine named Academy of Dance Arts the best ballet school in Westchester. Aside from ballet, it offers jazz and hip-hop, among other forms of dance.
“All of our instructors are professionals,” Pollock said. “They don’t just have a background in performance but they are also strong educators that specialize in their field.”
Academy of Dance Arts offers classes in creating movement for youngsters, as well as birthday parties with hip-hop, ballerina and “High School Musical” themes. The school also provides personal training and boot camps.
Academy of Dance Arts has an annual recital and a troupe that performs at nursing homes, children’s hospitals and benefits. It even made a visit to Madison Square Garden for to perform during a WNBA game.
The academy’s competition company is a regular at regional, national and international events, recently earning medals at the World Championships in Germany. Dancers from the school have been selected to compete with the U.S. National Team.
Pollock describes her classes as enjoyable while appealing to those students who want to take the activity seriously.
“We have a lot of fun in the classes,” Pollock said. “It’s a high energy atmosphere. They are there to have a lot of fun but they also learn how to dance at the same time. That’s what makes it so unique.”
Pollock grew up as a dancer, performing in commercials and musical theater during her childhood. She earned a degree in dance from Ohio University and has had a long career in musical theater. She has also done work for film and television.
Before opening the school, Pollock taught dance to children performing on Broadway and offered individual dance lessons. She decided she wanted to bring her love of dance to a wider group and established the academy.
“There are kids who just want to learn how to dance and there are kids who want to make it their life,” she said. “It’s very exciting for me to get to watch that.”
Pollock, who grew up in Larchmont and now lives in White Plains, said Pleasantville is a tight-knit community. Each year, students from her school perform at Pleasantville Day.
“That’s when you really get to see the community come out,” Pollock said. “It seems like everyone is supportive of each other. All the businesses support each other, which is nice.”
Pollock said that she enjoys getting to watch kids grow up and see their love for dance blossom.
“Whether it’s just for recreation or they are going to become a professional, seeing them just learn a dance step is so rewarding.” she said.
Forr more information, call 914-741-5678 or visit www.academyofdancearts.info.