By Jennifer DiDomenico
Leggz Dance Academy is celebrating 30 years of business this year. The Kissimmee dance studio will celebrate the big anniversary in part with its annual recital that will be held at the end of this month.
The recital will feature a special alumni dance, welcoming back 30 of Leggz Dance Academy’s past students. Plus, the Dad’s Dance that began in 1994 with its Men in Tights performance will return this year with a new, surprise theme.
“It’s been a lot of fun to plan and choreograph,” said Leggz Dance Academy owner and instructor Lisa Drawneek. “We’re really looking forward to the event.”
Drawneek opened the studio after teaching classes at the old Poinciana Community Center, though she said teaching classes and opening her own studio was “never the plan.”
She opened the studio’s doors in 1988 with just 50 students. Only classes in ballet, tap and jazz were offered at that time.
“Our studio has grown year after year,” said Drawneek. “When we first started out, I would bring my record player in for music. Our classes were held on the carpet and we used chairs as ballet bars. We would hold our tap classes in the kitchen, which was the only spot in the center with tile floors.”
Leggz Dance Academy has grown tremendously and now teaches more than 500 students in a 4,500-square-foot, air-conditioned facility.
The studio offers classes in ballet (ages 6 to adult), pointe (ages 11 to adult), tap (ages 6 to adult), jazz (ages 6 to adult), modern (ages 9 to adult), tumbling, hip hop, lyrical (based on level, not age), salsa (ages 7 to adult) and Mexican folklorical dance (ages 9 to adult). Little Stars (ages 18-36 months), Creative Dance (ages 3-5) and Hippity Hop (ages 4-6) classes are available for children.Leggz Dance Academy believes the only competition a child should have is within themselves, and therefore doesn’t offer competitive dance teams.
Former students have grown to dance professionally all over the world, for companies like Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney, SeaWorld, Orlando Magic and more. The studio also teaches many second-generation students, of parents who were once members of the studio themselves.
“It’s very exciting for me to see our second-generation students,” said Drawneek.
Additionally, Leggz Dance Academy is the only dance school in Central Florida to be registered with England’s Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)— the leading ballet organization, with 13,000 dancers in 79 countries. Leggz follows RAD’s dress code and syllabus, and a RAD member flies in annually in the month of March to test the ballet students.
“I became certified in RAD in 1993,” said Drawneek, who is one of only six certified RAD teachers in the state of Florida. “The program is wonderful, and it has a fabulous syllabus.”
Everyone is welcome to attend the recital, that will be held on Sunday, May 27, at 5 p.m. at the Bob Carr Theater in Orlando. Tickets can be purchased online through the Bob Carr Theater at https://tickets.drphillipscenter.org/syos/performance/6914.
For more information on Leggz Dance Academy, including its 30th anniversary celebration, classes, scheduling, dress code and more, visit www.LeggzDanceAcademy.com.