Do you have a child that loves to leap and twirl? The Dance Academy (TDA) in Holland has been teaching students in Lower Bucks since 1987. TDA offers over 70 classes a week in all disciplines of dance, including, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Acrobatics, Contemporary, Hip-Hop and Pointe. Sure, with the right dedication, she'll learn the dance steps. But by enrolling your child in classes at The Dance Academy, you're signing her up for the opportunity to form lasting friendships, feel part of a team and develop lifelong skills that go beyond the dance floor.

The Dance Academy isn't just preparing its students for the stage. It's preparing them for life.

Life Lessons Learned at TDA

In addition to learning to plié, shuffle, step-heel and pirouette, the dancers at TDA are gaining valuable life lessons that go beyond the studio. They're learning kindness, self-confidence, time management, teamwork, perseverance, passion, and more. Students learn to believe in themselves, and take pride in their accomplishments. All of these life lessons help create motivated young adults prepared and equipped to be successful in the future.

Beyond the Dance Studio

The lessons learned at The Dance Academy are beneficial to students that wish to pursue careers in the field, but it doesn't stop there. Skills and qualities such as time management, persistence, dedication, kindness and teamwork, and self-confidence are applicable to just about any life path. According to Donnajean Kline, Owner of The Dance Academy, “Our alumni represent very successful individuals in many diverse fields. Performing arts, medicine, engineering, educators, and business to name only a few.”

Hanna Brooks, for example, danced at The Dance Academy from the age of 3 through 18 and continued dancing throughout college, graduate school, and beyond. But for her career, she’s gone in a different direction. Today, Hanna lives in Philadelphia and works as a linguistic researcher and analyst at a pharmaceutical market research company, analyzing doctor-patient conversations. When talking about how her years at TDA helped shape her life, she said, “Growing up at The Dance Academy, you learn more than just the movements, you learn technique as well. You learn how to work with others and to blend as a group, but how to stand out when necessary. Dance has provided me with a sense of balance. Dance has given me the strength to push myself to face challenges and the patience to be kind to myself when the challenges get too hard.” Forever a dancer at heart, Hanna continues to stay active in the dance scene at Brandeis (her alma mater) and also takes dance classes in Philly as often as possible.

Hanna Brooks

Through recitals, competitions, advertising publications, professional companies, and tours; Dance Academy students are spreading their passion for dance both here in the States as well as on international stages. Today, TDA students are dancing at Elon, West Chester, University of Virginia, University of Maryland in Baltimore County, Boston and Temple. Outside of college dance teams, former students continue to impress as NFL cheerleaders for the Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans, a cruise line dance captain, a Rockette and more!

Taylor Shimko

Taylor Shimko, a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall, started dancing at The Dance Academy at just 3 years old. She danced at TDA until she graduated high school. And from there, she entered the professional dance world after landing a job in NYC with the Radio City Rockettes. When asked how her years at The Dance Academy helped her prepare for her next steps, Taylor responded, “Looking back on my time at TDA I realize how much I enjoyed the team aspect of my experience. Yes there were solos and duos/trios; however, most important to me was always the team effort and that has helped me in my professional career. Being a part of the competition team at TDA made me realize that people counted on me to show up, work hard and give the best version of myself. This has shaped the way I think about my work on stage at Radio City Music Hall, performing as a Rockette, every performance is a collaborative effort.”

Part of a Family

What makes The Dance Academy special? It's a family.

“Often, we are extremely fortunate to meet students as toddlers and participate in their dance journey through their high school graduation. I believe what sets TDA apart is our commitment to our belief in ‘professional training with a personal touch.' Each student is important to us. We truly believe that every child deserves to have the best technical dance training available, while still keeping an eye out on an individual's needs.” ~Donnajean Kline, Owner of The Dance Academy

The Dance Academy offers a dance home for all students. Whether a student participates in the recreational program (1 or 2 classes per week) or the intensive program  (8, 10, or even 15 classes per week), everyone is a valued student at The Dance Academy. The Dance Academy becomes a second family for many of its dancers. Former student Jackie Wiatrowski is currently a live performer – singing, dancing and headlining major shows on the Las Vegas Strip. When asked about her experiences at The Dance Academy, she replied, “When I came to The Dance Academy for the first time, I felt like I was truly at home. It was a positive environment filled with love and support, and I grew as a dancer and person due to the amount of care and attention I received from all of my teachers at TDA.” 

Jackie Wiatrowski

If you'd like to find out more about The Dance Academy and see if it's the right fit for your family, call 215-860-9530. They will be happy to arrange a visit or free trial class.

The Dance Academy is located 1476 Buck Road in Holland, PA.

To find out more, visit their website and Facebook page. Both are updated weekly and have tons of information about the studio. Or, call 215-860-9530.

 TDA offers rolling admission, so children are always more than welcome to join classes.

(Students enrolling after March will not be able to participate in the Spring Recital.)

•Dancer Spotlight Photos provided by TDA. All other photos by Heart and Soul Portraits

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