Local Woman Shares Passion Of Dance And Good Life Habits With Others Through Her Dance Co.
By Cheryl Conway
Danielle Delvescovo of East Hanover recently waltzed into her sixth season as owner of Dance with Danielle in East Hanover. The 32-year old opened her studio in September 2013 and currently offers 34 different classes weekly to about 140 students from East Hanover and surrounding towns.
Dancing since she was three, Delvescovo could not imagine stepping into any other field as her profession.
“Growing up I always had a passion for dancing and performing,” says Delvescovo. Taking into account her concern about good health and well-being for others, she decided she wanted to share that with others “so other children can have that experience.”
Explains Delvescovo: “I enjoy sharing what I’m passionate about and my outlook on life and my morals,” she says. “I provide a lot of lessons here.” With all of the activities she introduces at the dance studio, she tries to enforce “good life habits,” she says, like “taking care of yourself mentally and physically.
“I’m the only one I know who opened a studio,” says Delvescovo, out of the many friends she made through her years dancing. “It doesn’t matter, if you have a passion for something and you take the right steps,” forgoing a college degree, but still worked hard toward getting her certifications “and went from there.”
Delvescovo grew up dancing with Gail DeSantis Dance and Performing Arts Studio. Starting at the age of 3, Delvescovo began working with DeSantis when she was 12 as a student demonstrator, or assistant teacher, and receptionist.
At the age of 17, she was teaching her own classes there including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical and hip hop. In 2004, when she turned 18, Delvescovo got certified through Dance Educators of America, a certification required for dance teachers, she explains. With that, she had to attend classes in New York City on anatomy and nutrition. Delvescovo is also certified through the Associated Dance Teachers of N.J., where she also serves as a current board member. At 21, she got certified in Pilates from Pilates International.
At Dance with Danielle, students from ages two to adult sign up for non-competitive classes. Females and males are invited to take a variety of classes that include ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, acrobatics, pointe and theater. Most of the classes are taught after school hours during the week, some mornings, evenings and Saturdays.
Classes for adults include tap and jazz; boys can sign up for boys’ only hip hop as well as any of the other classes offered. Those aged 7 and younger can take combo classes such as ballet and tap, or jazz and hip hop so they can learn two different genres in one year.
Four different instructors, including herself, teach the classes at the studio, which features two dance rooms with sprung hardwood flooring, full-length full wall mirrors and sound system, as well as nice waiting area with a studio room so parents can watch their children’s lesson that is live-streamlined on a television for their viewing pleasure.
One of her teachers is her lifelong dance teacher, DeSantis.
“Gail teaches my adult classes for me,” says Delvescovo, who adds that she still takes her class along with her dance friends. “I was her student from the age of 3 and worked for her growing up, and when I opened my own studio she works for me and still teaches for me.” A relationship that has lasted 30 years, she notes. They continue to learn from each other.
“I’m still furthering my own education,” she says, and by taking classes with her lifelong teacher helps her to develop new ideas and perspectives when it comes to the art of dance.
When opening her studio and deciding on her mission, Delvescovo decided that she wanted her program to be non-competitive. Unlike many other dance studios that design their annual program around its year end recital as well as numerous competitions against other studios, Delvescovo decided to refrain from competition.
“There are lots of benefits in non-competing,” says Delvescovo. Without the pressures of competing through her dance studio, students can have more time to compete in other ways such as through sports or afterschool activities and have time to spend with family.
Rather than competition, students at Dance with Danielle Studio can “focus more on individual goals rather than choreography for competition,” she says. “We provide a lot of different opportunities to students. We are non-competitive, don’t have to put all their time into just dancing. They can be well-rounded. We have all the dance genres including acrobatics.
Her mission is: “Dance with Danielle provides quality dance education in a community based family orientated and non-competitive environment. We provide students with the leading dance techniques and knowledge creating poise and self-confidence while enjoying the activity of dance and developing a passion for the arts.”
She does offer a Performance Company through her studio, an extra class for students ages 13 to 18, which provides an opportunity for dancers to perform outside the studio at locations such as at a Mets Game, Devils Game, nursing homes, community events; as well as learn more advanced dance techniques with master teachers and workshops with dance professionals such as those who have performed in Broadway shows.
“It’s more of a community based program,” she says, which involves “giving back to the community.”
Delvescovo and her dancers participate in a host of local community events to help raise funds for various charities. On Sept. 16 they participated in their fourth year in a fundraiser to support Shriners Hospital For Children in Philadelphia, Pa. Dance with Danielle hosted a carnival style event at the studio with games, food and raffle tickets, raising $1,700 this year alone, with more donations coming in; and $8,000 during the past four years.
After researching which charities to support based on how much of the proceeds go to the actual cause, Delvescovo selected Shriners Hospital as one of its main charities to support since 87 percent of all donations go directly to the hospital, research and to families who attend the hospital. Shriners Hospital is also known for helping those who suffer from spinal cord injuries, and issues with their ligaments, movement and severe scoliosis, she explains.
“It goes hand in hand with us dancing,” she explains as to why her studio supports Shriners Hospital. “We dance, we’re all about moving our bodies.” In exchange for its support, Dance with Danielle studio members got to tour the hospital last year to see the equipment and “how they get back on their feet.”
Dance with Danielle studio also participates in other local community events such as the Tree Lighting in East Hanover. For the past five years, they have performed their holiday show with a holiday dance before the lighting.
“Basically anything in town we can perform in we do,” says Delvescovo.
In November, they participate in a canned food drive for Morris County Interfaith Food Pantry; in December they hold a toy drive for Toys for Tots.
Like other dance studios, they perform their annual year-end recital held in May at Hanover Park High School with costumes, stage lighting and music. While she is still deciding on this year’s recital theme, Delvescovo says she always picks a variety of music, older music, newer music, popular music “so all age groups can enjoy our show.”
“Dance with Danielle is the best,” concludes Delvescovo. “We have fun and we include everybody.”
Students can still sign up at Dance with Danielle up through Nov. 15 if they are interested in performing in the 2019 recital. The season runs from September through May.
Dance Instructor Bios
Danielle Delvescovo is the owner, director, choreographer and teacher of Dance with Danielle. She is a member of Associated Dance Teachers of N.J. and Dance Educators of America; is a certified Pilates Mat, Reformer, and Cardiolaties instructor from Pilates Academy International as well as a certified Zumba and Zumbini instructor.
Gail DeSantis DiDomenico is an amazing teacher and choreographer. She is president emeritus and faculty coordinator of Associated Dance Teachers of N.J., teaches training workshops for dance teachers and is the author of “The Teaching of Dance – Fundamentals for the Dance Educator.”
Emily Burnett is a ballet teacher with a bachelor’s in dance from DeSales University. She is licensed in Zumba, Zumba Kids and Strong by Zumba and has been working as a certified K-12 dance
teacher in the Newark Public Schools for the past 12 years.
Lisa LoPinto is an acrobatics teacher. She is a senior attending Seton Hall University majoring in elementary and special education as well as environmental studies. As a performer and choreographer in many musicals and concerts, she was also a competitive gymnast for 14 years of her life.
For more information, visit dancewithdanielle.com; email email@example.com; call 862-701-5088.