Peekskill resident Justin Wingenroth named his new business The Dance Conservatory to distinguish it from a typical dance studio.
“We are hoping to provide a higher level of dance education, gearing kids toward the college level training or pre-professional to professional,” Wingenroth said last week. “Our company program requires kids to take ballet multiple times a week plus their modern jazz and conditioning classes.”
Students who are part of the company program take eight or nine classes a week with each class typically running between 60 and 90 minutes, he said. The Conservatory offers other programs with such elective courses as hip hop and tap for participants who do not want to take all the courses included in the company program, he said.
The regular season for students will end with an in-studio showcase performance on June 9, Wingenroth said.
The Conservatory, which opened on Route 6 in Cortlandt in January, will offer a full-year program starting in September, though prospective students will be able to enroll in classes throughout the year, Wingenroth said. The Conservatory provides various classes for children as young as three to adults.
Aside from his administrative duties at his new business, Wingenroth teaches ballet and jazz and lyrical dance.
Wingenroth said it was important for his dance students to be in good shape to help prevent injuries and can lengthen their careers through such programs as cross-training, as well as conditioning and yoga classes. “It’s not just ballet for them. It will transcend any genre of dance,” he said.
“One of the things that I think sets us aside from a lot of studios is that we are taking the cross training into consideration,” Wingenroth said. “There’s huge strides in the world of dance medicine that have been taken in the last 10 years to prolong dancers’ careers. If you look back in the ‘80s and ’90s even, professional dancers were pretty much done in their mid to late 20’s. Now, the top companies are retiring dancers at 40, 45. There are dancers coming back at 60 to play leading roles. That was unheard of 20 years ago.”
The Dance Conservatory is the first business Wingenroth, a Pennsylvania native, has owned. He has extensive experience both as a dancer and a dance teacher. He did theme park work at Tokyo Disney and Hershey Park. He did national tours of “Cats” and “42nd Street,” as well as dancing for regional theater companies and small companies in New York City. “About eight or nine years ago I started falling into teaching,” he said.
Wingenroth has much involvement with young performers from northern Westchester. He choreographs the musicals at Peekskill High School. This year he began working with the performers at Croton High School and he has been working with the students and choreographers in the Yorktown High School Dance Company.
The Dance Conservatory is located at 2050 E. Main St. (Route 6), Cortlandt. For more information, call 914-734-5326, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.thedanceconservatory.info.