At the Viera Dance Conservatory dance lessons are more than just for fun, some students go on to professional endeavors, but all students learn more than just dancing.
Owner and director Bonnie Callahan has danced her entire life and has taught for more than 20 years. After moving to the area four years ago with her three daughters, she decided to open a studio for all types of dance, emphasizing both recreational and pre-professional programs.
She also decided to attend annual classes with the American Ballet Theater in New York City in order to teach a curriculum here that has been certified by the premier ballet theatre in the U.S. The American Ballet Theater (ABT) National Training Curriculum is an eight level program that combines artistic training with the basis of dancer health and child development.
The ABT National Training Curriculum consists of a set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines to provide the highest quality ballet training to dance students of all ages and skill levels. Bonnie currently teaches Primary through level Three; she plans to obtain her certification through level Five by September and complete level Six and Seven training next summer.
For her younger dancers, Bonnie believes in a direct correlation between dance and schoolwork. Dancing develops children’s discipline and focus that can translate to school, so students’ grades often improve, as does their confidence, poise and grace. It also provides a positive place for children to go and creates camaraderie among the dancers.
The Viera Dance Conservatory currently has a staff of eight and is open six days a week. There is also a company for serious students who are interested in becoming professional dancers.
Students of all ages (2 ½ and up) can learn to love dance. Classes offered include ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, acrobatics and musical theatre. All dancers follow strict guidelines and learn lessons that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Bonnie says, “there is a misconception that once you graduate you can’t continue to dance. It can be a part of your life forever.”
Viera Dance Conservatory