Most have been there at the shopping mall where the music is playing and then comes the swaying and bouncing to the rhythm.
Or at the grocery store and parents have to constantly tell their child to stop dancing around and just walk. Some may know or have a child who already has a passion for dance and now has a dream of becoming a professional dancer.
Whatever the reason, dancing makes people feel happy and the Art of Dance school in Chester has been influential in making this “happy, magic” since 1969.
Opened by Florence Lambros, the business has always been family owned and operated. With daughter Valerie Harman now heading the studio, her daughter Linsey O’neal teaches and helps to run the “award winning” Art of Dance, dance company.
The Art of Dance knows dancing is about much more than just the steps. With children as young as 14 months in the Mommy & Me class through to the aspiring professional or adult dancer, Director Valerie Harman, inspires creativity and confidence within students with the help of her dedicated, experienced staff and faculty.
“Memories are built here, memories and relationships that will last a lifetime,” she says.
The studio passionately cultivates lifelong friendships through dance. Take former student and Chester native Paul Flanagan for example, who has gone on to perform in prestigious tap events in NYC, but has come back as part of the studio’s tap faculty this fall. The training speaks for itself, with opportunities that appeal to both the recreational and competitive dancer. All classes are taught by a professional teaching staff and are offered in all styles of dance like Ballet, tap, hip-hop, Irish, lyrical, gymnastics, boys only classes and theatre.
With passionate new and returning favorite teachers spanning from Broadway, American Ballet Theatre, “So you Think You Can Dance,” and competitive performing arts universities, there is no surprise that a lot of the dancers go on to perform in college and university dance teams and professional companies.
Something less known, but celebrated about the Art Of Dance is their involvement in the local community, especially around the holidays. The volunteer Travel Troupe is already gearing up for their yearly holiday show that travels to local nursing homes in the area to entertain the elderly.
“Unfortunately, a lot of these people are unable to leave their building, so they really look forward to our performances,” say’s director Valerie Harman. What is great about this is, it’s open to everyone five and older, beginners to advanced.
Adjacent to the dance studio is a phenomenal dance boutique “The Essential Dance Shop,” which is currently supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month with “Shop For A Cause,” providing shoppers with discounts on items and Halloween costumes, donating the proceeds to providing mammograms for women in need.
The Art of Dance is a beautiful space, with sprung floors in all five dance rooms to help prevent injury and large one way viewing windows for parents and guardians to watch their dancer advance and learn. With the Essential Dance Shop right there, it really is a one stop shop for all dance needs. Whether it be an appointment for a pointe shoe fitting, clothing or gifts and accessories, customers will not find a more convenient, welcoming and family oriented place.
For more information on the Art of Dance and Essential Dance Shop visit wwww.artofdance.org or call (908)-879-4919.