Donna Park's passion for performance preceded the bulk of her vocabulary: at 4 years old, she got into the habit of correcting the dance steps of the other children in her recitals. Her unquenchable thirst for performance led her through a theater minor in college to the discovery of film, then onto a career as a director, writer, and producer of television specials and commercials. Now, calling upon contacts developed during her 20-year career, she brings working professionals to Texas Creative Arts Academy to share their hard-earned wisdom with the young.
The Academy's year-round programs gather students aged 4 to 18 to celebrate their interest in dance, art, film, and melodrama. Aspiring artisans learn the basics of canvas and garment craftsmanship in Hi Ho! Van Gogh! and Design Fashion Diva! camps. Teachers unlock high notes in students' vocal ranges with voice lessons and train the eyes of future cameramen in video-production classes. Piano and guitar instruction empowers kids to realize a future where spontaneous public musical numbers don’t just happen on stage.
Authentic Belly Dancing Entertainment & Academy's staff of professional dancers pop up around Dallas, shimmering across the stages of restaurants, dazzling guests at private parties, and stealing the stony hearts of competition judges. During their weekend performances and special events, solitary dancers, partners, trios, and troupes perform traditional and Egyptian belly dance movements. They spice up routines with swords, candles, and fire while astounding audiences by manipulating their stomach muscles to pour shots or stop errant cannon balls.
Back at their headquarters on the hardwood studio floors of Dana's Dance Academy, the professional swirlers impart their art to aspiring dancers in beginner and advanced belly-dancing classes throughout the week. A social and enjoyable form of aerobic exercise—unlike sleep dancing, which is essentially solitary—the classes also aim to boost students' confidence, grace, and poise.
Academy students can take their skills to the public stage by performing at Harem Nites at Stratnos Greek Tavern, where, on the first Thursday of every month, professionals and first-timers alike dance together in front of a live audience of spectators, friends, and family.
The performing and fine arts community in Irving welcomed a new home in 1990 with the completion of the Irving Arts Center. The Arts Center's 10-acre complex features two fully-equipped theaters; four galleries; meeting, classroom, reception and rehearsal facilities; and a verdant sculpture garden.
In the early 20th century, a twisted ringmaster led his shadowy circus around the country, enticing visitors with his horrifying freak show. Mysterious disappearances followed the circus wherever it went?outcast and orphan children were especially quick to vanish. The ringmaster kept his stolen freaks in animal-like conditions, until one day they rose up against him in rebellion. These new ringmasters had a thirst for blood?and revenge.
The Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus now appears each autumn, showing off its sinister collection of clowns and man-beast hybrids. The circus occupies more than 20 haunted tractor-trailers, daring brave visitors to enter and join the show.
For more than two decades, the assemblage of professional dancers and instructors at The Ballet Conservatory have taught little ones the skills necessary to plié into fully-formed dancers. They have met with so much success that, as recently as April 2013, the school sent a troupe to New York City to compete in the YAGP International Finals. Though the focus is on pointe and ballet, the conservatory delivers performance-grade instruction in a diverse array of disciplines, including hip-hop, jazz, and tap.
Inspired by New York City's The Actors Studio, thespians Erica and Shane Peterman established The Acting Studio as a place for youngsters and adults with acting aspirations to focus on their craft. Along with experienced dancer Kellie Carroll, the Petermans train students on musical-theater fundamentals in classes that range from jazz dance to private voice lessons. The advanced Triple Threat program places pupils intending to pursue a performing-arts career under the tutelage of industry pros who prep them for performances. Kids more interested in dabbling, meanwhile, can meet industry bigwigs at workshops, and several full-scale productions each year grant children the chance to act alongside their peers and improvise dance numbers.