Since 1964, students of Rose's School of Dance have learned the timeless art of graceful footwork. Today, the schedule of classes represents a mix of old and new styles, and includes hip-hop as well as classic ballet and jazz. Though dance trends may change, the musical accompaniment remains the same; unlike many studios, Rose's School of Dance still boasts a live piano player during ballet, pointe, and tap lessons.
Katy Fischer picked up ballet when she was 3 years old and never stopped tapping her toes. Now, with more than 30 years of dance instruction to her name, she and Russ Fischer impart ballroom and Latin dance wisdom to couples wishing to learn the waltz, swing dancing, and cha-cha. Each Friday night, the Fischers host dance socials where couples can show off their dance chops.
A nonprofit cultural and educational organization, the Art of Motion teaches and presents dance, theater, and vocal music, a mix of entertainment not seen since Shakespeare’s musical about kings and queens dancing to the death. The roster of instructors includes well-known choreographers and dancers who take a professional approach to classes—whether it’s a drop-in class, summer intensive, or yearlong program. They specialize in technique and training. Along with multiple performances by its repertory dance company during the year, the studio hosts semi-private and private lessons. Their spacious studio, furnished with well-equipped bars and floor space for dance and Pilates, also holds training programs for children and adults.
Edie Ollwerther grew up a touring dancer, with television and teaching credits to her name. When she married, she took a break—but it wasn't long before neighborhood parents knew of her history in dance. They encouraged her to begin giving lessons to their children, and Edie obliged by transforming her basement into a studio space.
That was in the 1970s. Today, Edie and her fellow instructors—some of whom are former students, now grown—act as the heads of a continually growing family of dancers. Their curriculum encompasses tap, jazz, ballet, and musical theater, as well as vocal coaching and hip-hop routines. Some of their pupils learn to shimmy as a hobby, and others aim to join the competition team, whose performances have taken them to Disney World and aboard a Carnival Cruise ship.
Within the walls of the Farview Fire Company firehouse, the instructors of Best Foot Forward Dance Center guide children and adults through ballroom, latin, and swing-dancing moves. Students can attend private or group lessons, and can show off newly learned skills during dance socials complete with DJs and refreshments.
Sharron Miller has devoted her life to dance. She attended the Juilliard School and worked with the director of the Garden State Ballet. After completing her training, she danced as a soloist for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and appeared in seven Broadway shows. Sharron also taught at Renaissance Middle School for 13 years, where her dance and drama program for youth was praised by the State of New Jersey. Today, as the founder of Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts, she shares the skills she acquired throughout a lifetime in the arts with students from all walks of life.
SMAPA is a not-for-profit organization that provides classes in jazz, ballet, tap, and modern dancing for students of all ages. SMAPA's skilled faculty members teach hundreds of students every year and conduct outreach to the community, engaging youth in the arts through school programs and impromptu performances in the daydreams of teenagers.