“Diana created the syllabus so that all of the instructors are teaching the same skills, all recommended by NECCA. We make sure that the students are strong and skilled enough on the ground before they move on.”
If aerial is not for you or your child, there are plenty more opportunities to choose from. The academy’s competition team, comprised of around 150 students, competes twice a year in regional competitions, usually located right in New Hampshire or in Massachusetts. Every two or three years, they compete in a national competition, but accessibility is important to Mills.
“One summer we danced at Hershey Park and we’ve danced at Disney, but traveling can get expensive so we limit it to every few years.”
Steppin’ Out’s students also perform at the Kingston Days festivities and nursing homes around the area. But they don’t have to perform to be active in the community. Every year the academy chooses a different charity to raise money for. Last year they raised $1,100 for To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit organization that provides support and awareness about depression, suicide, and self-harm. They don’t stop at national charities either.
“We have a student named Heidi who was diagnosed with cancer when she was two. She’s now six and a half and doing well, and every year we participate in Ride for Heidi which is organized by her mother. This October will be the fifth annual event.”
It’s not often that your local neighborhood gym is as community-oriented and close-knit as Steppin’ Out Dance Academy. With dancers ranging from two years old to over 60 years old, the academy’s success is evident: there truly is something for everyone. Dance at this academy is rewarding to the body and the soul. It doesn’t get much better than that.