A child’s first foray into the world of dance is a big milestone. Choosing the right studio is an important decision, depending on what type of training they wish to receive. Logrea Dance Academy in Ossining teaches not only dance skills, but also skills that will help children as they navigate their way through life.
Founded in 1986 by Beth Fritz-Logrea and Jean Logrea, the academy provides training in ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance. The two came about opening the studio in a serendipitous way. While home in NYC on vacation from dancing with the Graz Opera House in Austria, they noticed the name of Jean’s former ballet teacher on a building marquee. Stopping in to see her, she told the pair that a company and school in Westchester was in danger of closing unless it could find new directors. After much discussion, Beth and Jean decided to stay, become Artistic Directors of the Westchester Ballet Company (WBC) and open their own dance school – Logrea Dance Academy, which is the school of the WBC.
Classes Tailored to Each Student’s Strengths
Logrea offers classes to students as young as 3, with its Pre-Ballet program. Students 8 years and older are offered a brief evaluation to ensure proper class placement – with or without prior dance training. Private instruction is also available for new students so that they may be brought up to the level of their age group. As was the case for the daughter of Tara Bernzweig who said, “We had private lessons from Jean Logrea over the summer. He was kind enough to do this so she could catch up to girls closer to her age group. My daughter is now signed up for three classes this fall. Jean was amazingly patient and sees potential in her.”
Having danced her whole life, Fritz-Logrea always strives to instill the love of dance in her students. “In dance, you have to express emotion through the body without words. You have to interpret and tell the story through the music and choreography alone. Our students carry this kind of creativity and imagination into their own lives, no matter what the forum,” she states.
Training with Talented Faculty
The academy has a superb faculty of 19 including the Logrea’s son Nick. In the spring, Logrea Dance Academy presents a series of performances at SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center. In addition, WBC performances of the Nutcracker take place at the Westchester County Center each year (December 14 and 15, 2019). These in particular are a wonderful way to bring dance to children. “The audience is filled with many students who have never been exposed to the arts, or seen a live show before. You could hear a pin drop in the audience filled with well over 1,500 students – they are so enthralled. Especially in this age of technology and social media, it’s important to expose our children to the arts. Not just as participants, but as supporters and audience members. The impact of both is enormous,” says Fritz-Logrea.
Studies have shown that dance lessons have a positive impact on many facets of a child’s life including their confidence, discipline, creativity and development. As Fritz-Logrea says, “They acquire so many skills that greatly impact their academic school success — and make them into more well-rounded adults. As we tell our parents, whether your child wants a career in dance, or just wants to dance for the joy of it, he or she will learn life-skills at Logrea that will last a lifetime.”
When speaking with Fritz-Logrea, you really feel that she and Jean share a passion of teaching dance to children and watching them succeed in dance and in life. As she reflects on the decision to open the academy on that day in 1986 she says, “That one moment totally changed our lives in extraordinary ways – and, hopefully, the lives of our many students, who have walked through our doors for the last 33 years.”