Miss Anna and Miss Angelica are the new owners of A-Team Dance Center in Amityville, NY. Facebook “Angelica and I both studied at L.A. Dance Studio (the now newly named A-Team Dance Center) as young children where our teachers sparked our love of dance,” says Anna. “We loved it so much we couldn't wait to be old enough to teach, choreograph, and share our passion for the art with all our fellow students and, lucky for us, we had the encouragement and support to do so. L.A. Dance Studio stayed open for 30 successful years. When the previous owner Linda Accardi decided to retire this past year, she passed the torch to us knowing she was leaving it to two loyal and dedicated teachers who will absolutely give their all to our students. With the passing of the torch we decided to take L.A. Dance Studio to the next level.”
“Starting with the new A-Team Dance Center name and a fresh look, we hope to give our students the tools they need and inspire them to be the best they can be,” explains Angelica. “We both studied dance in college where we have worked with and taken class from some the industry greats and gained professional dance experience. Together we plan on utilizing our connections in the field by sharing professional talent with our students through master classes. L.A Dance Studio's legacy continues through the A-Team Dance Center as we invite our students to step into the next generation. We plan to get involved in the surrounding communities and give back as much as we can. A-Team Dance Center will be participating in Long Island's Breast Cancer Walk, fund raising for great causes, visiting local nursing homes during the holidays, and sharing their performance ability at many local events.” READ MORE for advice on opening your own studio, valuable marketing tips and why the floor in your studio is so important.
“We are now teaching the children of people who were once our fellow dancers! It's so nice to see the family atmosphere and loyalty we all share. We are fortunate that the majority of the students of L.A. Dance nowA-Team Dance Center are taking this journey with us. We have over 100 students and counting,” says Angelica. The center offers ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, glee, acro, pre-school and kindergarten programs. Ballroom and zumba classes are coming soon.
When asked what advice she would offer to other dance teachers considering opening their own studio, Anna suggests, “Always stay current, keep studying and stay with the times. A real advantage to taking over a studio where we have previously studied and taught is that we already have established trust and relationships which makes starting up much easier than if we were to open at another location with no reputation. Social media is an absolute must for our business. To be in the eyes of our current and potential students consistently is key. Sharing our accomplishments, updates, offers, etc. keeps a consistent line of communication open between us and our clientele. This also creates a sense of school pride which every young dancer should feel when they think of their dance studio.”
Anna and Angelica also share what it means to them to have just installed their new Harlequin floor. “It honestly makes a world of difference and creates peace of mind for parent to know their children, our students, are dancing on a safe and professional floor. Having a Harlequin floor sets us apart from many other schools that have chosen flooring that could potentially be a hazard when jumping or leaping.”
Both Anna and Angelica bring a great deal of talent and experience to their new business venture. Anna Rufrano has been dancing since the age of 5 and teaching now for 17 years. She began teaching various types of dance at 16 years old. She created the hip hop and modern curriculums at the studio and taught all types of dance to all ages. Anna went to Holy Trinity High School where she was accepted into the Theatre Arts/Dance Program. She then went on to Hofstra University to receive a BA in Dance and a BS in Psychology. At Hofstra, Anna had the privilege of training with members of ABT and Paul Talylor Dance Company among others, which helped to become a well-rounded dancer and teacher. After college Anna pursued her professional dance career. She had the opportunity to back up dance for Nelly, choreograph live performance shows and back up dance for Renee Stakey. Most recently Anna choreographed two music videos for up and coming artist Nicoletta Slapo along with choreographing her live performance shows. Anna continues to study and choreograph at the studio as well as professionally.
Angelica LaRusso has been dancing since age 3 and started teaching various types of dance at age 16. After graduating high school, Angelica went on to graduate from CW Post Long Island Universtiy with a BFA in Dance Studies and an honorary degree in theatre. While in college, she was a part of the Post Concert Dance Company where she was awarded the opportunity to work with choreographers from Parsons Dance Company, Pilobolus and Alvin Ailey. Upon graduation from college Angelica was accepted into the rigorous Training Program at Broadway Dance Center in Manhattan where for 3 months she studied various styles of dance while concentrating in jazz. Since then she has been in 2 music videos for recording artist Nicoletta Slapo and has performed with her live numerous times. Angelica continues to study at Broadway Dance Center and will be performing at the Alvin Ailey Center in November 2014 for a choreographers’ festival.