by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Michael Bielecki

Every child whether beginner or advanced should leave class a better dancer than when they arrived, with more confidence and a smile on their face,” said Francine Garton, owner of Royal Dance Academy (RDA).

The philosophy at RDA is to create an environment where children are comfortable and can learn dance in a nurturing and vibrant environment. “Our students genuinely love dancing at RDA. We strive to ensure that the fun, friendly and loving atmosphere is apparent when you walk through the door. The academy has become a ‘second home’ for many of our students,” stated Garton.

Currently, RDA offers various levels and styles of dance, including ballet, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, tap , contemporary , stretch, turns & leaps, acting , LAMDA and musical theatre to over 700 students. There are 25 competition teams for children ages 5-18, and RDA also provides serious ballet students with the opportunity to work toward inclusion in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus and examinations. “The standard of ballet taught at Royal Dance Academy is of a particularly high standard. All students take ballet classes as they realize that ballet is the foundation for all dance styles,” explained Garton, who is a certified RAD teacher and has taught dance for 22 years.

According to Garton, the staff at RDA is dedicated to teaching and inspiring children to dance. “We have worked hard over time to build a team of teachers who can deliver the best dance education to the students. Teaching dance is their passion, and it shows in their work and love for the students,” declared Garton.

My daughter has been dancing at the RDA since Ms. Francine opened her doors 11 years ago.  Because of Ms. Francine and her very talented teaching staff my daughter just landed a role in the revival of the musical Annie, opening on Broadway later this year.  I know if she had not had the quality of instruction that the RDA delivers she never would have had such an amazing opportunity.  Our thanks and gratitude to Ms.  Francine and the RDA staff.”
~Laura DiPietro
Mother of Dance Student

All RDA students have the opportunity to perform in an annual summer recital, and as stated by Garton, RDA has received numerous awards and distinctions. “Our students have earned dance scholarships at prestigious colleges, traveled to national competitions and worked in television, movies, in local stage productions and on Broadway,” related Garton.

The 6,000-square-foot RDA facility has four studios outfitted with wall-to-floor mirrors and professional music equipment and speakers. In addition, closed circuit televisions located in the entrance hall and front office space allow parents to watch their children as they participate in classes. “RDA is a beautiful place to dance where every child feels like they belong to one big dance family,” stated Garton.