The Long Island Puppet Theater amazes audiences with a cast of colorful marionette puppets, each with a story to tell. Its shows cater to audiences aged one and up and include familiar characters including The Little Mermaid. Special events encourage kids to play with Barbies or dance alongside Cinderella and Batman, whereas traveling shows bring interactive fun to the tristate area with pirates and jungle animals. In addition to performances, the theater also offers private themed parties for special occasions, such as a birthday or day you transform from a wooden puppet into a real boy or girl.
Cultural Arts Playhouse has been fostering the development of up-and-coming actors for more than 15 years. At its Musical Theatre and Acting Academy, students from 1st–12th grade hone their on-stage skills by taking classes on singing, acting, and improvisation under the tutelage of an experienced teacher. Kids get to show off these skills in full theatrical productions, with main-stage shows opening up auditions to the entire community so people can see their neighbors' acting chops and dusted-off fake skulls. Cultural Arts Playhouse alumni have found success in New York and throughout the country, appearing in HBO's The Sopranos, and such Broadway productions as Les Miserables and Aladdin.
At Integral Ballet School, a staff of professional dancers leads students of all ages and ability levels in learning the art of movement. Instructors teach children and adults the skills needed to elegantly perform ballet and tap dances, or entrance onlookers with more experimental modern and hip-hop moves. For adults, they also lead a series of fitness-focused dance classes, including ballet boot camp and belly dancing, along with yoga and Pilates sessions to help students achieve lithe dancer bods.
For more than 25 years, Drama Kids International has nurtured thousands of thespian students and kids simply searching for an engaging activity, instilling children with the ability to speak clearly and confidently. Classes focus on sharpening articulated speech and encouraging creative expression. Children are placed in classes according to their age group: the Lower Primary (ages 5–8) teaches kids how to deliver lines and hone social skills, the Upper Primary (ages 9–11) delves into improvisation and dramatic movement, and the DKI Acting Academy (ages 12–17) preps scene-stealers on how to audition for their dream role. Each class includes a variety of activities for kids to unleash their imagination, which develops their dramatic abilities in a fun, easy-going setting. Drama Kids instructors foster an open, comfortable acting environment. Call ahead to schedule the first class and start your child down the path of becoming one of the more notable Baldwin brothers.
From the time she was 2 years old, Elizabeth DeGennaro has been gracing the stage. Having grown up in the dancing world, she blossomed into a full-fledged toe-tapper, landing spots on America's Got Talent and The Gong Show, as well as an acting role as a showgirl on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Elizabeth isn't just happy entertaining, though. The professional dancer shares her expertise with students of all skill levels at her own studio, Wild Cherryz Dance and Fitness. There, she incorporates moves from the swath of styles she's fluent in—including Latin and cabaret—during Zumba, burlesque dance, and pole fitness classes to create unique and well-rounded sessions. As a certified trainer, she also infuses her classes with fitness elements—in ballet barre, for example, she borrows from the core training of Pilates and yoga, as well as the movements of ballet. She even offers PCS classes, which blends yoga and Pilates for a more intense workout.
Of course, Elizabeth doesn't just work with adults. As someone who started dancing young, she also extends her skills toward children as young as 3 years old, offering kids' ballet, jazz, hip hop, and Zumba classes.