Whether you’re just getting started or want to explore a career in the arts—The Dance Institute is ready to keep you on pointe—and more

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The Arts Preparatory Division at The University of Akron, which includes The Dance Institute is planning to expand pre-college programming to include music and the visual arts in addition to dance.

By Mary Malik

Since 1967, The Dance Institute at The University of Akron has been training and preparing students for careers in both professional dance and dance education. Fall registration is now open for all ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, tap and Pilates classes.

“It has always been our mission to teach dance as an art form to inspire students to reach their full potential in whatever it is they choose to do,” says Rachael Palermo, manager of the Arts Preparatory Division at The University of Akron, which includes the Dance Institute. “We are confident that we have everything here necessary to serve a variety of students and their interests. Our classes are led by knowledgeable and experienced faculty. We welcome nationally acclaimed guest artists and offer many performance opportunities that together provide a supportive environment for achievement no matter what a student’s goals might be.”

Students as young as 3 years old can begin pre-ballet classes at The Dance Institute, along with adult dance programs, convenient evening classes and Pilates on Saturdays. Register for full sessions with drop-in options also available. Enrollment at The Dance Institute continues on a rolling basis throughout the fall, so students are welcome at any time.

The Dance Institute’s presentation of The Akron Nutcracker will be held at E.J. Thomas Hall, with performances on Thursday and Friday, December 22 and 23, at 7:30 p.m. Performance opportunities are still available.

“Whether you’re a beginner, an experienced dancer, you’re getting back into dance or you just want to try something new, we’ll find the right place for you,” says Rachael. “At The Dance Institute, we’re teaching dance as an art form while developing social skills and self confidence in our students. These skills will carry over into their lives far beyond dance.”

The Dance Institute’s curriculum takes a holistic approach, addressing the whole student and making the experience fulfilling and meaningful for each individual.

“It has always been our mission to teach dance as an art form to inspire students to reach their full potential...”

“We meet you wherever you are in your dance journey,” says Rachael. “If you want to try something new for your own personal enrichment, start your child on a new and creative path, or get a great workout, we’re here for you.”

The faculty at The Dance Institute includes high-caliber instructors with a great depth and breadth of knowledge in their field, with professional performance and teaching experience.

“Our faculty is here to teach, of course, but also to advise students on their futures,” says Rachael. “They have knowledge and experience to share, and we’ve created a collaborative space here to get students where they want to go.”

The Dance Institute also hosts guest artists working in different areas of dance and presenting students with options for careers in the field.

“Performing is just one way to go,” says Rachael. “My dance training helped me prepare for several different career opportunities. No matter where our students go, they will have a great foundation as a result of their training here at The Dance Institute.”

The Arts Preparatory Division is planning to expand its programming into music and the visual arts. As a part of this pre-college division, The Dance Institute will continue to add more classes, including styles like hip hop and musical theatre. It’s an exciting time at The Dance Institute and the Arts Preparatory Division as we continue to grow. It’s an exciting time at The Dance Institute and even though we’ve been thriving since 1967, in many ways we’re just getting started.”

For more information on the fall schedule and to register for classes, go to uakron.edu/di, call 330-972-7949 or email danceinstitute@uakron.edu.