Business Spotlight: Heidi Miller's School of Dance
The local school offers classes in ballet, tap and everything in between.
Heidi Miller's School of Dance is a place where dancers love to learn, have fun and receive the best dance education in the area.
Classes at the school, which is located on the Sharon-Walpole line on Rte. 1, are kept small, with 10 or less students, so each can receive one-on-one attention in a positive environment. The staff and teachers love what they do and it shows in their classes and choreography.
Patch sat down with Heidi Miller to find out everything about her dance studio which she opened in 2004.
Patch: How long have you been involved with dance, and what is your background?
Heidi Miller: I have been dancing for as long as anyone can remember. At the age of 5, I told my parents I was going to own my own dance studio, and from that point on I worked hard to fulfill that dream. I competed both regionally and nationally throughout middle school and high school, winning many awards along the way. I always had a passion for teaching, and was an apprentice teacher at my studio all throughout high school. It was always important to me to go on and receive a college degree in dance, and I was accepted into the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, prestigious and selective Dance Major. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UMass in 2000. I went on to teach for a wonderful woman before opening on my own, as I knew I had some things to learn about the business aspect before jumping into a studio of my own. In September of 2004, Heidi Miller's School of Dance opened its doors, a dream come true.
My philosophy, and that of the studio and our staff, is to instill the same passion and love of dance that I have, to my students. We promise to do that in a professional, and FUN environment, where you will also be receiving the best technical education and a true love of the art.
Patch: What are the ages of your students?
Heidi Miller: Our classes start at the age of 2 1/2, and we offer ballet. At 4-years-old, tap classes can be added. And as young as 5, we offer hip hop, tap and jazz. We go up to 18 years of age.
Patch: The types of classes that you offer?
Heidi Miller: We offer ballet, tap, jazz, broadway jazz, contemporary, modern, technique, hip hop, lyrical, and "boys only" classes. Solo, duet, and trio's are also available for a separate show throughout the year. New registration for the 2013/2014 season will be available in the end of April.
Patch: Do you hold shows, participate in parades or other special town events?
Heidi Miller: We love to perform. All of our dancers participate in our Annual Recital, held in June at Walpole High School (we have two shows to keep the shows to an hour and a half and allow our dancers to have as many audience members to come and cheer them on). In April, we have our Spring Showcase. That is a separate show where dancers over the age of 7 can enroll in a solo, duet, or trio class to learn another dance outside of their weekly class.
Our performance and competitive teams perform throughout the year at regional competitions, and annually at the Heights Elementary School Fall Fair. We have performed at nursing homes and assisted living homes as well, and are always looking for other chances to perform. If you'd like us to volunteer to perform at your function, please contact the studio.
We do have a performance team, as well as competitive teams. These groups are hand selected based on talent, potential, commitment, and a desire to take their technique and love of dance to the next level. Our competitive dancers have received numerous Platinum, overall high score, and Judges special awards along the years. But, we do not enter competitions for the recognition and awards; we enter for the experience and chance to perform on an additional stage throughout the year. Any opportunity for our dancers to grow.
We will be holding open auditions for the first time for our performance and competitive teams this Spring. Auditions for any dancer entering the fifth grade and older is welcome to attend. Auditions will be held on Tuesday, April 16 and Sunday, May 19.
Patch: Tell us about your instructors.
Heidi Miller: The staff at HMSD are some of the best in the area, and are all highly educated, passionate teachers. Many have held National titles and received recognition for their choreography at several points in their lives. I require anyone on staff to have a full dance background, as well as a degree in dance. It's extremely important that our staff be educated and passionate about all aspects of a dance education, not just that which they specialize in at our studio. All four teachers on staff continue to attend classes and perform on their own throughout the year to keep up to date on what is up and coming in the world of dance.