History

Mary Ann has taught in her studio for over 60 years. Dancing is more than a way of life for her - it's a happiness, a  rhythmic spirit that she imparts to all her students and staff. Besides  the technique and mastery she commands as a teacher, her intent and  purpose is to share her love of dancing. and have all her students  experience the joy of moving to music.
Mary Ann is a graduate of Dance  Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, a charter member of  Professional Dance Teachers Association, and the National Association of  Dance and Affiliated Artists She danced with the Hal Sands  Manhattan Rockettes and performed with the Springfield Accordion  Orchestra in California (performing in Disneyland), in Hawaii (performing for the Governor), and in New Zealand (performing for the  Prime Minister) among other places.

In 1956, Mary Ann opened  the Mary Ann Studio of Dance and has been sharing her love of dance  through the instruction of generations of dancers and the creation of  original dance routines for recitals and shows ever since.
Mary Ann has been teaching  dance for a long time. She first opened her Mary Ann Studio of Dance 62 years ago, and now, in some instances, teaches the children of former  students.

Barbara, April, Missy,  Sarah, Nikki, Jennifer, Elyse,  and Nichole all started learning dance  from Mary Ann when they themselves were children. Twenty years later  they currently make up her teaching staff.

It's quite obvious that  Mary Ann has something that keeps these kids with her, especially since  there are any number of dance schools in the area.  She owns two  schools, one on Boston Road in Springfield, one on Main Street in  Agawam.   Both studios teach all forms of dance, from ballet and toe  dance to tap and jazz to tumbling and acrobatics to MTV style gyrations.  Mary Ann’s is very different from all other facilities. But still has  so many of her students taking classes with her after years of a  lifelong love of dance. Mary Ann always knew, from the time she was very  young, that she wanted to dance.  Her own teacher cultivated her  talent, and when she was old enough, she started her career in New York,  even doing a short-lived stint with the Rockettes.  Her plans, however,  soon changed.

“Being a professional  dancer wasn't my thing”, she declares.  Besides having realized how much  she would have to give up, such as a family, she adds, I really liked  teaching children.  That was my main concern.

Mary Ann soon became  certified as a teacher, graduating from the Dance Educators of America  and then the Dance Masters of America.  She subsequently belonged to  various organizations for dance teachers before coming to the  Springfield area and opening her first studio.  Nine years after that,  she moved her school to Boston Road and after that opened in Agawam.

She teaches both adults and  young children. The teachers at the Mary Ann Studio of Dance are billed  as pre-school specialists. Adults catch on more quickly, says Mary Ann.  Pre-schoolers have very short attention spans, so class has to be  interesting and fun while the kids are still learning Every time I have a  new idea, I present it to my students...I guess the classes work,  because they enjoy it. To that end, she instituted her trial-and-error  program, one that other schools have often imitated.

There are many reasons, she  says, that her students start.  Some take dance because they enjoy  moving to the music, or they think of it as a form of expression.  Some  of the adults learn in order to keep their bodies in a more fluid  condition.  And some just think it's fun.

Yet it seems that these  people have a common reason for staying with Mary Ann.  She and her  staff expend a great amount of time and energy in cultivating the talent  of their pupils.  She explains that, I am concerned about my students.   I take the utmost interest in their development and their creative  progress.  I am dedicated. Mary Ann goes on to say, so are the other  teachers in her school. They're really in tune with the students.  They  have a great rapport with the kids.

As  in Mary Ann’s experience, this interest in their development has turned  many to professional dancing. Some former students are now performing  in New York, Las Vegas and Orlando. Others are part of the theatrical  performances on luxury liners. For others, their secondary educations  have been paid for through dance scholarships.And there are even those  who have their own studios. Mary Ann hopes her students learning keeps  being passed down through the generations.

 

Mary Ann and her daughter Lisa

Mary Ann and Husband Dave

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History