STRONG, SMART & SPECTACULAR! GD&PAA DELIVERS DYNAMIC AND DIVERSE PROGRAMMING
July 31, 2017
As featured in the July 31, 2017 edition of the Journal Inquirer
“You’re strong, you’re smart, you’re spectacular!” The audience and performers cheer at the end of Grossi Dance & Performing Arts Academy’s latest production, “Get on Your Feet!” That’s the exchange of energy one feels, not only at the performances, but in every class, workshop and camp at GD&PAA throughout the year.
Linda Regulbuto, who became owner and artistic director of Grossi Dance & Performing Arts Academy in 2013, moved the original academy to a new location in Lafayette Square in Vernon in 2014, with two full studios and expanded programming. She and her staff encourage the students and performers of all ages 2 ½ to 89, to establish and appreciate their own ‘greatness’ often saying, “this is your greatness; celebrate it!”
GD&PAA incorporates a unique method to performing arts education. The artistic director selects over-arching concepts for the entire curricula for the staff and guest artists to follow, incorporating them into the theme for the annual Showcase. It’s a different, dynamic approach, setting the theme into sequential syllabi and integrating it throughout dance and performing arts lessons and workshops.
Regulbuto’s experience includes serving as production manager and senior manager in Education, Community Relations, and Programming and Producing Departments of The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, choreographer for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades, as well as 22 years as owner and director of Steppin’ Up! Dance Studios and Companies. She is a Vice-President of the Greater New England chapter of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts (NADAA), was recently elected as Vice-President for the National Board of NADAA and received the Woman of The Year Award in 2013. Ms. Regulbuto, who helped create the state dance educational standards, asks her staff to look closely at both the state and national educational standards, which gives them greater awareness of the power of arts in education, and students learning and processing styles.
The GD&PAA staff are constantly revising and reinventing the curriculum in each genre, which includes guest appearances, master classes, coaching and workshops with their vast contacts with actors, dancers, choreographers, and artists from New York City and Los Angeles. The GD&PAA stellar roster of teachers are certified through the State of Connecticut, Dance Masters, Dance Educators (DEA) and NADAA, and attend national dance, business, and education conferences, summits, workshops and conventions to further their knowledge base and continue to enhance their best practices procedures.
Grossi Dance & Performing Arts Academy students enjoy classes in all styles of dance and performing arts from Creative Dance, Creative Movement, Music & Moves with Ms. Marla, Tap-n-Tumble and combo classes for the tiny dancers to Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, Broadway, Rhythm and Funk styles of Jazz and Tap, Cecchetti graded Ballet and Pointe classes, Wee Bop hip hop and Hip Hop to Broadway Stars Musical Theatre classes for Pre-K through Adults; there’s something for everyone! Some of the specialty classes include The Senior-ettes tap classes, Meet Me at The Barre®, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, and the Family Dance sessions for those wanting to get away from computers and phones - spending time moving and grooving with family and friends.
GD&PAA students can take part in acting, audition prep, coaching, voice, musical theatre, and Broadway Bound Workshops, along with classes in dance arts. Several students have appeared in Broadway Musicals and TV productions in New York City and The Bushnell such as, Mary Poppins, Phantom, High School Musical, Whistle Down the Wind, Music Man, Sesame Street and Grimm. Others have acted in local and national TV commercials and pageants and many continue to be involved in local school, college and community theatre shows such as Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Finding Neverland, Guys and Dolls, Crazy for You, The Great Gatsby, Mary Poppins and many others.
GD&PAA students have been accepted into prestigious dance intensives, programs and performances, and have received scholarships to respected organizations such as The Joffrey Ballet, Earl Mosley Institute, HARTT, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, NADAA, Broadway Dance Center and Radio City Music Hall master classes. For the third time, a student was selected as the Greater New England Youth Representative for the National Convention of NADAA.
Four Performance Companies have their home at GD&PAA; and consist of dancers who wish to enhance their dance experience by taking mandatory classes in various genres offered as well as attending master classes and workshops. Part of their mission is to engage, enliven and encourage those for whom they perform. Many of the dancers participate in the Student Assistant and Teaching Assistant programs, where they experience the business and practices of the Academy, participate in public relations, marketing and community outreach events and learn the skills of instruction and lesson planning.
The GD&PAA Center Stage Dance Team participated in their first year of competition during the 2016-17 dance season under the direction of Nicole Michaud and Sydney Susino, with great success. Twelve routines were competed in Dance Ovation, Dance Inc Talent Competitions and the national competition for the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts. The performers and their routines received adjudications of Gold, High Gold, Platinum, High Score Trophies, High Score by Age and Discipline, Over-All High Score by Age and Category, First Place, with one student placing ninth overall in his division, one dancer placing third in her division, and another young lady who placed first in hers! The team is honored to have collected several special awards including: Outstanding Student Merit and cash awards for the NADAA National Convention, Stage Presence, Pure Personality and Professionalism, Most Fun to Watch, Cutest Couple, Bundle of Joy and Broadway Bound! We congratulate the dancers and thank the parents and staff that were a part of the team’s achievements.
Two specialized programs have been piloted at GD&PAA: Dancing Thru Life®, developed by Regulbuto, based on jazz and musical theatre movement, offers exercise and kinship for Breast Cancer survivors, ‘thrivers’ and those who support them; and Shining Stars, adaptive classes for our dance friends with special blessings are among the newly formed curricula. Along with experts, specialists, parents and teachers, Ms. Regulbuto continues to develop and design ideas for both endeavors.
Being a part of Grossi Dance & Performing Arts Academy is not just a dance experience. As proud members of the Tolland County Chamber of Commerce, the Rockville Downtown Alliance (RDA), and the Rockville Community Alliance (RCA), the staff are big proponents of knowing and supporting local businesses and neighbors; one of the golden threads that makes GD&PAA and its programs a vibrant and integral partner in the community. Ms. Regulbuto continually gives kudos to her colleagues of area long-standing studios offering established dance programs, and appreciates their fellowship and camaraderie.
Students, performers and families of Grossi Dance and Performing ArtsAcademy are involved in much more than just taking classes. Regulbuto encourages strong community involvement, outreach opportunities and service such as raising money and performing at ST. Francis Cancer Center for Pennies for Pirouettes, Relay for Life, American Cancer Society and Special Olympics, the RCA’s July in the Sky and National Night Out. The performers provide shows for adult day care centers, day care centers and the YMCA, as well as career days and library programs. Student, staff and families can be seen writing thoughts of thanks and inspiration on the GD&PAA ‘Thank-ful-ness Tree’ in the lobby and the organizing mitten, food and water drives for the Hockanum Valley Community Council, and supporting activities of local schools.
Dancers are regularly asked to appear for special occasions and celebrations such as Foxwoods 20th Anniversary event, the Bushnell’s Family Fun Day, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades and the Wapping Fair. At any given time, the director of the Grossi Dance & Performing ArtsAcademy flies into a classroom and enthusiastically asks, “Excuse me… is anyone in here a star?” to which performers of all ages energetically respond, “I’M A STAR, YEAH!”
Open House and in-studios registrations will be held at GD&PAA- 30 Lafayette Square, Suite 116, Vernon on August 23rd & 24th from 5 pm to 8 pm. Please visit the website: www.grossidance.com for information or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come join us for the 2017-2018 Performance Season, because as Regulbuto tells the audience every year, “it’s not just about the final product, the passe’s and pirouettes; it’s about the process along the way.”