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Dance! By Debra DiNote

by Leslie Feldman
For the love of Dance!

DANCE! By Debra DiNote offers the finest education in movement arts.

A dance class is never just a dance class. Rather, it’s an opportunity for children to learn a broad range of lessons and skills. They’ll learn the benefits of exercising, and also attain coordination, balance, flexibility, stamina, stability, memory, self-confidence and discipline—not to mention have a great time doing it!

At DANCE! By Debra DiNote in Turnersville, students receive a dance education with a caring and talented faculty that delivers the best in weekly classes, successful competition teams and performing opportunities. The school does not spend the entire year teaching just one dance routine. Instead, students will learn a broad variety of dance steps, and get to know the terminology and proper techniques for the discipline they are studying.

Debra DiNote, artistic director and founder of the school, has enjoyed a fine reputation for the past 40 years and has one of the most well-known and highly respected schools in the tri-state area. With a 400-plus family-based enrollment, DiNote makes it her mission to foster an interest and appreciation for the performing arts in her students. “Our school offers a strong technical-based curriculum and the opportunity to showcase artistic development and stagecraft for Southern Jersey audiences,” explains DiNote. “Forming lasting friendships and having fun along the way has also been a big part of what’s happening at DANCE! every day, as students actually learn how to dance.”

DiNote’s daughter LeeAnn has been working alongside her mother on the faculty for 15 years, and DiNote’s youngest daughter, Danielle, joins the faculty in September. With son Frank greeting their clientele at the front desk, they are a family-run business. But DiNote’s dance family is even larger than that. Many faculty members started as pre-schoolers, danced through high school and college, and have returned to share their talents and passion with DiNote’s students.

Something for Everyone
The school teaches many forms of dance, including Dancing With Mommy classes beginning at 18 months of age. There’s also creative dance, ballet, tap, hip hop, pointe, lyrical, jazz and musical theater. The 8,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility includes four large dance rooms with viewing windows. Families are invited to view class at any time.

“Whether your child is in preschool or an advanced-level dancer, terminology, proper body placements and the disciplines of the dance are taught through our leveled classes and extensive curriculum,” DiNote adds. “Students can choose the number of classes and days they wish to devote to dance.”

DANCE! students have performed at Disney’s Magic Kingdom seven times, as well as Carnegie Hall in NYC, Universal Studios, Hershey Park, Six Flags, Miss New Jersey pageants and parades, Toys for Tots benefits, church and civic performances and many senior centers and homes. Students have received scholarships to the Joffrey School of Ballet, the Debbie Reynolds Studio F in California, the Gus Giordano School in Chicago, the Governor’s Schools of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the Broadway Dance Center in New York City and The Pulse dance conventions. DiNote also awards thousands of dollars in scholarships each year to her students for study at her school.

Sing, Dance and Succeed
Advanced-level students enjoy numerous classes per week, performing and competing opportunities throughout the year, and a strong community service performance program through the DANCE! Workshop Company. The DANCE! for the Cure and Alex’s Lemonade benefit performances have been held the past five years at the Washington Lake Park Amphitheater. “Thousands of people have supported this worthy cause. The kids have raised over $12,000 for the pediatric oncology department of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,” DiNote says proudly.

The DANCE! Workshop also presents a full-length theatrical production every spring at Rowan’s Wilson Concert Hall, and students of DANCE! are given the opportunity to perform. Professional backdrops, sets and costumes enhance the lavish productions, featuring more than 100 dancers and cast members.

A full vocal program is also offered to students in private or group settings. The 30-minute program is designed to help aspiring vocalists gain a greater understanding of the singing process and bring out the best in their voice. Vocal students are invited to perform community service throughout the year, and many compete at the regional and national level.

DiNote invites interested students and their families to visit the studio, meet the talented and caring faculty and office staff, and discuss why the school is so special. Walk-in registration is every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. An Open House DANCE! Party will be held Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m., with student performances, face painting and balloons.

DANCE! By Debra DiNote
Whiteman Plaza
5360 Route 42, Turnersville

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 6 (August, 2011).
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