Over the past 46 years, Founding Director Joanne Langione has brought new meaning to the word dance education especially since receiving best dance center in Boston in 2016.
Since opening in September 1976 as a solo operation, the mission of the Joanne Langione Dance Center, Newton’s oldest school of dance, has remained unchanged:
“To preserve and foster future generations of well-trained dancers whether they choose to dance professionally or for the pure joy of it.”
The emphasis on the joy of dance and proper dance training, as well as the love and commitment that goes into the dance center by the faculty and staff, is exactly what earned them Best of Boston in 2016 for “Best Dance Classes, Kids” category.
Langione began teaching dance to adults through a local community program at the Rebecca Pomeroy House in Newton. Her classes became so popular that those parents asked Langione to teach their kids as well and JLDC was born. Since then, JLDC has grown from a small troupe of 100 beginner dancers into a renowned, award-winning dance center with thousands of alumni.
With her background in dance and choreography, Langione refined her craft during those early years to provide engaging and structured classes for each ability level and age range.
“I still have the original curriculum notebook that was created on a typewriter,” she laughed. “That foundational curriculum is still used by our teachers to this day.”
A Well Rounded Dance Education at JLDC
What sets JLDC apart is it’s age-appropriate, student-centric graded curriculum of dance education and its fun, loving and supportive atmosphere. Every aspect of the JLDC program supports their core values of good training, hard work, and fun.
At JLDC, ballet is the foundation of movement. From there, students can choose electives in Jazz, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Acrodance. JLDC is unique in that each student can customize their own program of dance education based on their interests. With four large studios and a comprehensive schedule for children ages 6 months through teens, there is a class for everyone! And for students wishing to pursue a more rigorous curriculum, the dance center’s School for Excellence provides more opportunities for training, performance and competition.
JLDC is fortunate to have a large, diverse faculty of highly trained and talented professionals in their respected fields of dance. “Working as a team, our phenomenal faculty has allowed our students to learn, grow, and fully immerse themselves in the art of dance” adds Jaime Langione Endreny, Executive Director of JLDC.
Two of their teachers are celebrating 20 years of teaching at JLDC this year and many others are following suit. Langione remarks that she is proud to be able to provide a full schedule of classes for many of our teachers which enables them the unique opportunity to teach exclusively at JLDC giving students their undivided time and attention.
Langione reflects, “It has always been my priority to not only find professional, highly skilled teachers but more importantly to find the ones who love to inspire and support the children who enter our doors.”
Students are the Heart of JLDC
A proper dance education is good for the body and for the soul. The dance classes at JLDC teach students how to move gracefully, they build core muscle strength and improve coordination and musicality.
In addition, the warm and inviting environment found in the West Newton state-of-the-art studio is a rare and unique gift to the dance community. Dancing at JLDC builds confidence, students form cherished, lifelong friendships with their peers, and faculty provides mentorship to students well past graduation. JLDC proves that inclusion, positivity and appreciation for each student’s individualism is key to over four decades of success.
“We pride ourselves that kids stay here from as early as 6 months old through high school. Our alumni stay connected to each other and to our school – they are like family,” Langione says.
Best Dance Center in Boston Ups their Game
Boston Magazine mentions the Joanne Langione Dance Center as a star in the dance community for over four decades and upped the competition by completing their new 11,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in 2015.
The dance center currently has 4 dance studios, one of which converts into a fully-lit black-box-style theater for informal performances, a student and parent lobby, as well as an outdoor classroom that is used for their SummerDance program and more recently to host outdoor classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dancers are used to problem solving – and we’re good at it.” – Jaime Langione Endreny, Executive Director
With a mission to stay safe and connected this past year and a half, JLDC not only invested in enhanced ventilation and other building upgrades, but they also installed interactive, HD sound and video systems in each classroom to enhance virtual classes for students who participated from home.
When the theater venue had to close one month before their annual Winter Concert and Hip Hop Show last year, JLDC converted their in-house black-block style theater into a sound stage, hired a videographer and produced a performance video that was live streamed for families to enjoy from home and share with friends near and far!
“It was always and continues to be our goal, to never skip a beat for our students,” said Meli Currie, Director of JLDC, “if the music stops, you keep dancing…these are the important life lessons we hope to instill through example in our dancers.”
JLDC continues to thrive for Four Decades… and More
Performances at JLDC set them apart from other schools and are really the crowning achievement for their students each year. Typical dance school performances can be incredibly long and drawn out. At JLDC, however, performances are short, varied, and exciting for the parents and community.
“Performance is a vital part of our students personal and creative growth,” Langione said. “we strive to provide the highest caliber of choreography, costuming and professional performance experience for our families.”
We challenge ourselves year after year, Langione added, to reflect and refine our offerings to ensure we are providing the best possible experience for every child’s age, level, and ability.
“I am thrilled to be able to work with the next generation of leadership at JLDC whose values for creativity, skill, confidence, health and relationships shine through every aspect of our school.” Langione writes on their new website.
To some, a dance studio is nothing more than an afterschool activity. To the students, faculty, and families at Joanne Langione Dance Center, it’s so much more. It is home.
If you are interested in enrolling your child at JLDC, please click here to enroll now.