Our Mission: At Laurel Arts Dance, it is our goal to provide your dancer with the best dance experience possible. All of our teachers have dance degrees and/or many years of experience. They also have clearances from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Our History: Laurel Arts established its dance program in the late 1980’s with one studio located in a building on West Main Street. The instructor was Sue Richards, who also had a dance studio in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. Continued growth of the dance program prompted a move to 118 West Main Street in 1996, where the studios remained until the opening of Laurel Arts Education & Dance Center in the fall of 2009. Today, Laurel Arts has three studios and over 200 students who enjoy instruction in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, rhythm tap, contemporary and theatre dance.
About Us: Laurel Arts Dance offers two dance programs: Recreational and Structured.
The Recreational Dance Program offers short courses for those who want to take dance for fun and exercise or who want to just give dance a try. These classes are offered at various times throughout the year. Information on current class offerings can be found under Classes & Camps/Wellness.
The Structured Dance Program is designed for students who love to dance and who want to develop their dance skills. This program runs for 36 weeks from mid-August through mid-May. It culminates with our annual recital.
All students enrolled in our structured program must take a minimum of one half hour of ballet each week. Students may be exempt from the ballet requirement if they are enrolled only in Hip Hop, Rhythm Tap, and/or Theatre Dance.
Preschoolers in our structured 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 students progress, they are enrolled in hour-long classes. Students who are interested in ballet may enroll in a Pre-Pointe (non-recital) class at the age of 12. If the student has developed appropriately, she may go en pointe the following year.
Also included in our structured program is a class for students with special needs. This is an hour-long class emphasizing movement and rhythm. Students in this class will learn a dance and participate in the annual recital.
In addition to ballet, pointe, jazz, and tap, Laurel Arts Dance offers 36-week classes in hip hop, lyrical, rhythm tap, contemporary, and theatre dance.
The Laurel Arts Performance Company was formed over ten years ago. Students who have reached the level of hour-long classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and contemporary are eligible to audition for the Performance Company. The mission of the company is to provide community outreach through performances and to take part in regional dance competitions.
The dance staff of Laurel Arts is made up of a wonderful group of caring people who have a genuine love for the art of dance, for adults, and also children. Our teachers take the responsibility to insure that activities are safe and age/gender appropriate. Each teacher encourages a positive, supportive and mutually respectful working atmosphere while stimulating student's minds and physical skills. They encourage students to strive to meet their fullest potential and to value the art of dance. Our teachers participate in continuing education opportunities and programs to provide the most up-to-date quality instruction. They are not only teachers, but serve as positive role models, mentors and motivators.
Melissa Gregory is our new tap instructor as well as our newest preschool teacher. She has twelve years of training in tap dancing, and choreographed tap pieces for the Pitt-Johnstown Dance Ensemble. She danced for the organization for four years.
Melissa also has a bachelor's degree in elementary education which provides her with greater experience and knowledge in the profession of teaching. She possesses a great passion for dance, and is very excited to implement her teaching skills at Studio Kids Preschool.
Cindy Breen has been teaching our special needs dance class since 2006, and she has been an adult dance student at Laurel Arts since 1996. In addition to teaching special needs classes, she also teaches recreational tap classes for teens and adults who want to learn tap, but do not necessarily want to perform.
AmandaBergstressergraduated Summa Cum-Laude from Point Park College with a Bachelor’s Degree in dance and concentration in ballet. She has over 15 years of teaching experience and is well-versed in many forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical and ballroom.
Our current theatre instructor..... Lauren Elizabeth Wahl is originally from Somerset, a Laurel Arts Dance Center veteran, is thrilled to be joining the creative staff at the Dance Center. Lauren studied Theatre Arts (Performance and Technical) at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Our current 3rd level tap teacher...... Aubree Stoy is a 2014 graduate of the Bradford School in Pittsburgh, and holds an associates degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Along with her associates degree in Management she is currently working on getting her Dance Teacher's Certification. Aubree has danced at Laurel Arts for 11 years an is excited to be teaching tap for her first time this year. Not only is Aubree a tap teacher, but she is also a server at Green Gables Restaurant in Jennerstown. Aubree is an active member of the Mount Laurel United Church of Christ and is involved in many activities within the community. Aubree has enjoyed working with the girls in and outside of the studio. She wishes everyone the best of luck in their future and to always remember, "The only dancer you should compare yourself to is the one that you used to be."
Our current 2nd level tap teacher..... Megan Girimonti received her B.A. in Secondary English Education from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where she was the Secretary of the UPJ Dance Ensemble her junior year and the Vice President her senior year. Megan previously taught dance at Reach for the Stars in Pittsburgh. She is currently an English teacher at Meyersdale Area Middle School and is pursuing her M.A. in English and Creative Writing online through Southern New Hampshire University.
LAUREL ARTS | P. O. BOX 414 | SOMERSET, PA 15501 | 814.443.2433