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Dancing Through Life at Progressions Performing Arts

By Allison Wilson

For many children, learning to dance is about much more than just exercise. Dance builds confidence, self-esteem and positive attitudes; sparks creativity; helps foster teamwork; and improves social skills and communication.

"We have actually had moms come in and say 'her pediatrician told me to put her in dance class,'" says Denise Summers, Studio Manager of Progressions Performing Arts in Spring, Texas. "Dancers also typically perform better academically."

Progressions Performing Arts, or PPA, which opened in 1998, is a technique-based studio, and it has trained many students to go on to dance professionally. The faculty includes nationally and internationally recognized dancers in ballet, tap, hip-hop, jazz and contemporary styles. PPA welcomes dancers of all ages and levels, with a studio that features large, modern rooms with state-of-the-art dance floors, stereo equipment and mirrors, and of course, large viewing windows for parents to watch the classes.

PPA offers unique dances classes such as Princess Fairytale classes for 3- and 4-year-olds, an eight-week program based around a fairy tale theme. Participants get to wear princess costumes in class and perform in a princess showcase at the end of the program. The TuTwo classes for 2-year-olds incorporate dancing, singing and imagination to develop coordination and strength. Older dancers can participate in ballet, tap jazz, hip hop and contemporary classes that progress from beginning to more advanced levels. The studio schedules longer classes for its older, upper-level dancers. While many studios offer one-hour classes, the studio's most advanced classes are an hour and a half.

"We also limit our class size so dancers get more out of a class," Summers says.

PPA has an elite team, which requires an audition and at least one year of experience at the studio in ballet, tap and jazz. There is also an ensemble ballet performance group, which offers dancers more opportunities to perform.

"Every fall we do 'The Nutcracker,' and we have a spring ensemble show as well," Summers says. "During the summer, we offer musical theatre camps which are always a hit and a lot of fun."

PPA is open Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 281-651-9885.

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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