Provide your dancer with the best dance experience possible. We believe that every child should be encouraged to develop to his or her fullest potential, that no child should be discouraged from participating, and that gifted and motivated students should receive full opportunities to develop their talents to pursue a professional career if they desire.
About Our Dance Classes
Our dance program is 36 weeks long and begins in mid to late August and culminates with our annual recital in late May. All of our students are required to take ballet (adults and children who are only taking hip hop or theater classes may be exempt.)
Why do we require ballet?
Ballet provides the core fundamentals for dance including proper posture, better balance, greater body awareness, and improved flexibility and strength. Ballet challenges the student to build upon skills and technique while learning to interpret music and express the beauty and grace of the dance.
Preschoolers in our dance program are enrolled in Combo Classes which include an introduction to ballet, tap and tumbling. Primary grade students receive instruction in ballet, tap and jazz. As our students progress, they are enrolled in hour-long classes in ballet and may choose to take classes in tap, jazz, lyrical and hip hop.
Students who are interested in taking more ballet may enroll in a Pre-Pointe class at the age of 12. If a student has developed appropriately, she may go en pointe the following year.
Classes for All Abilities
We also offer classes for students with special needs (children and adults.) These classes emphasize movement and rhythm. Students will learn a dance and participate in the annual recital.
Although we are not a competition-focused studio, students may audition for Laurel Arts Performance Company. Members of the performance company participate in community outreach through performances and take part in regional dance competitions.
The dance staff at Laurel Arts is a wonderful group of people who have a genuine love for the art of dance. Our teachers take seriously their responsibility to ensure that activities are safe and age/gender appropriate. Each teacher encourages a positive, supportive and mutually respectful working atmosphere.
Amanda Bergstresser was graduated Summa Cum-Laude from Point Park College with a Bachelor’s Degree in dance. Miss Amanda has taught at Laurel Arts for over 15 years and is our lead instructor. Her concentration is in ballet, including pointe. She also teaches lyrical and jazz.
Cindy Breen began teaching our special needs dance class over 10 years ago; and she has been teaching adult tap classes for six years. Cindy also teaches most of our Combo Classes. As a dance student (yes, she still takes classes), dance parent, dance grandparent and dance instructor, Miss Cindy has an appreciation for the lessons children can learn from dance during their formative years.
Melissa Gindlesperger has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is employed by Rockwood Area School District. She has over 12 years of training in tap and danced with the Pitt-Johnstown Dance Ensemble. She teaches performance company tap for Laurel Arts.
Megan Girimonti is an English teacher at Meyersdale Area Middle School. Megan previously taught dance at Reach for the Stars in Pittsburgh. She teaches tap and hip hop at Laurel Arts.
Aubree Maus is a former student and performance company member. She is also a certified dance instructor through Dance and Gym USA. Aubree holds a degree in hospitality and tourism management and works for L.J. Aviation in Latrobe. Aubree teaches ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical.
Bethany has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) as well as a Master of Letters in Shakespeare and Performance. She has been dancing and performing since she was 4 years old. She currently works as a Professor in the Theatre Department at UPJ and as a Freelance Director. She teaches ballet, lyrical, jazz, and hip hop.
We also offer drop-in dance classes for adults! Please call 814-443-1835 for more information on dates and times.
Improve your posture and your flexibility as you gain an understanding of the foundations of ballet. These concepts are incorporated into a full ballet class with exercises at the barre, in the center and moving across the floor. The core emphasis of this level will be on understanding and improving proper alignment, posture, rotation and flexibility. Dancers will also expand their ballet vocabulary while learning new movements and positions. Adults who are new to ballet as well as former ballet students are welcome to take this class which is taught by Aubree Stoy.
Students will focus on the fundamentals of tap technique while getting a great workout. The class will begin with a tap warm-up, progress to movements across the floor and finish combinations danced to music (Broadway, Country, Motown, etc.) All ability levels (including new to tap) are welcome! We have some shoes available to borrow if you don’t have your own. You may come to either or both classes.
Adult ballet and tap classes are $8 per class; $6.40 for members of Laurel Arts. Please register by calling Brianna, 814-443-1835.
Special note about classes:
Please tune to local TV stations for cancellation notices due to weather. Parents who have opted in to our text message system will also receive a text if classes are cancelled due to inclement weather.