by LINDA FRABL | photos by Tyler McElhaney and Miah Nwosu

Solid Dance Foundation

Generally when a child takes a dance class, it is simply an enjoyable weekly diversion. However, when the students at the Scripps Performing Arts Academy (SPAA) were questioned about what they’ve gained from their classes, their comments reflected much more than just learning new dance moves. Student Joy Shen revealed, “The staff mentors their students in having the right mentality and attitude when facing obstacles and situations in life.” Former student Rachel Doehr said, “The SPAA taught me discipline and a strong work ethic, rolled in with artistic creativity.” Another former student, Jennifer Huerta, claimed, “One of the most important things the SPAA instilled in its students was that we could make a difference in the world.”

scripps_performinga_3So how did the SPAA (with two locations – Scripps Ranch and Carmel Valley) become a place that can surpass the usual dance experience, and ultimately provide positive life lessons that can improve one’s whole existence? Executive Director Angela Amoroso explained, “We inspire our students to enjoy life’s journey and implement a long vision for success.” Artistic Director Miah Nwosu concurred, “Through the creative vehicle of the performing arts, anchored in ballet, we provide a solid foundation from which bright futures are launched.” CEO Drew Skinner added, “Science now proves that ballet helps to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain, offering academic students a leading edge.”

In addition to ballet, the SPAA also offers jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, musical theater, acting, voice and piano, as well as Fit Therapy and Pilates. The SPAA also provides a private, academic all-girls Junior Kindergarten curriculum and plans to expand into a complete academic conservatory for all grade levels in the near future. Plus, this coming fall the SPAA will introduce a special “Ballet for Athletes and Academics” program because, as Drew acknowledged, “We are what some winning coaches call the secret weapon for their team!”

scripps_performinga_2Understanding that every student is a unique individual who progresses at their own rate, emphasis is placed on classes that best serve each particular child, taking their dance experience, temperament, emotional maturity, and age into consideration. Miah declared, “We are a professional training program that is housed in a nurturing, non-competitive environment with a skilled, kind, and patient faculty that allows students to thrive and achieve their personal best at their own pace. It truly is a personalized approach that we have implemented and it yields fantastic results!”

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Name of Business: Scripps Performing Arts Academy
Executive Directors: Angela Amoroso and Drew Skinner
Artistic Director: Miah Nwosu
Years in Position: Angela – 37 years;
Miah – 13 years; Drew – 11 years
Year of establishment: 1987
Address: Scripps Ranch – 9920 Scripps
Lake Dr., San Diego, CA 92131; Torrey Hills –
Carmel Mountain Rd., San Diego, CA 92130
Phone: Scripps Ranch – 858-586-7834;
Torrey Hills – 858-509-2624
Description of Business: A training facility that defines excellence for dance, musical theatre, and even transitional kindergarten. They believe that it takes commitment, discipline, imagination, and hard work to reach a dancer’s full potential. Their goal is to instill in their students respect for both themselves and the performing arts they practice.