September 7, 2018
  • GD&PAA — 50 Years of Exceptional Dance Instruction in Vernon Connecticut

    “I’m brave! I’m bold! I’m brilliant…. and I’m beautiful!”  The performers cheered at the end of Grossi Dance & Performing Arts Academy’s latest production, “Swing with Me, Baby!”  And swing with sassy style and sophistication; they surely did! That’s the liveliness one feels, not only at the performances, but in every class, workshop, and rehearsal at GD&PAA throughout the year. The spark was there in the beginning when Grossi Dance started in a small basement of a beloved flower shop in South Windsor in September of 1969 under the director, Lynn Grossi and has been building in on-going energy and vigor since!

    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 90, to cultivate and appreciate their own brilliance, share their sparkle and shine with everyone they meet both in and out of classes, and to “get their sassy on!”

    GD&PAA incorporates a unique method to performing arts education.  The artistic director selects core concepts for the entire curricula for the staff, guest artists and students to follow, incorporating them into the theme for the annual Showcase.  It’s a different, dynamic, collaborative approach, setting the theme into the 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 of Somers. She is a Vice-President of the Greater New England chapter of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts (NADAA) and is a National 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, Fairy Tale Ballet and Stories, Songs & Steps® 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 spend time moving, grooving, having fun and laughing with family and friends. Whether your class is for recreation, exercise, social time, pre-professional, or professional arts education and performance training- GDPAA is where you can find your bold, brave, brilliant and beautiful self!

  • Grossi Dance & Performing Arts Academy — Providing 50 years of dance instruction to the Hartford area.

    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, Man In Motion of NYC, HARTT, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, NADAA, Broadway Dance Center and Radio City Music Hall master classes.  For the fourth 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 second year of competition during the 2017-18 dance season under the direction of Nicole Michaud and Holly McGrath, with rousing success. Routines were competed in 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 first overall in her division, one dancer placing second in her division, and another young lady who placed first in her several categories! The team is honored to have collected several special awards in the two years 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 continued camaraderie.

    Students, performers and families of Grossi Dance and Performing Arts Academy 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 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, Yard Goats, New Britain Bees and the Wapping Fair. At any given time, the director of the Grossi Dance & Performing Arts Academy 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 22nd & 23rd from 5 pm to 8 pm. Please visit the website: www.grossidance.com for information or email: grossidanceacademy@gmail.com.

    Come join us for the 2018-2019 50th Anniversary Performance Season and “Be A Part of the Tradition.” 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.”