First State Dance Academy Begins Classes

4By Terry Rogers

First State Dance Academy is currently accepting online registrations for fall classes which begin on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at their studio located at 107 Maple Avenue in Milford. Classes are available for boys and girls, ages 2½ and up at levels that include beginner to pre-professional.

“We offer ballet, tap, hip-hop, modern, contemporary, point and much more,” said Michele Xiques, Director of the academy. “We also offer Zumba and Zumba Fit for adults on Saturday mornings. We look for students who want to dance for fun, who may need an outlet for recreation and for those who are looking for a way to get fit. We encourage those who are considering dance as a profession to sign up for classes.”

Ms. Xiques said that dance provides many benefits for children. Dance build self-confidence, body awareness, poise, coordination and agility. In addition, children who participate in dance are more flexible and have better balance than students who do not. According to Pro Dance Center, regular dance classes can increase physical strength and stamina as the repetitive movements in dance improve muscle tone, correct posture and improve cardiovascular health.

“The fitness aspect is not the only benefit,” Ms. Xiques said. “We become a family. The children often start when they are very young and we grow with them. It helps create discipline and structure.” In addition, children who participate in dance develop teamwork skills, develop social and communication skills and develop a greater sense of trust. Shy children often excel in dance as they are encouraged to reach out to other children while dancing and this can help alleviate fear or anxiety.

Several students at First State Dance Academy were accepted to intensive dance camps over the summer and many of them won scholarships to attend those camps. Glory Tucker was accepted at the Rock School in West, PA, winning a $100 scholarship from the Payson Foundation. Maggie Kemp studied at Saratoga Springs Dance Institute in New York for a four week intensive dance camp. Katie Fields received a $900 scholarship from the Priscilla Payson Foundation to attend a five-week intensive camp with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Owen Lawson also attended the intensive camp in Pittsburgh through a $200 scholarship from the Priscilla Payson Foundation. Owen Lawson received a $400 scholarship from the Priscilla Payson Foundation and a $400 scholarship from the Diane Drulis Foundation. In addition, Owen was offered a scholarship for tuition, room and board for the five-week intensive program as well as full tuition scholarship for the year round program for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Jay Ledford was also offered the five-week intensive program as well as a full tuition scholarship to the year round program of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Hope Wright received a 25 percent scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet and was accepted to the Elite Level San Francisco Ballet three-week program. Tyler Wright earned a full scholarship to Patel, Next Generation Ballet pre-professional five-week program.

In addition to the dance academy, the studio is home to the Delaware Dance Alliance. The dance company performs throughout the area, including Eat In the Street in Milford as well as performances of The Nutcracker in Seaford. The dance company will perform “Annie the Ballet” at the Schwartz Center in Dover in the spring. They also perform a free dance recital at the Milford Senior Center in January and another free recital at Milford High School at the end of the school year. Students may register online at

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