Announcing the 2022-2023 Parent Ambassadors

We are proud to announce the 2022-23 parent ambassadors for Armour Dance Theatre! The goal of the parent ambassadors is to engage dedicated and passionate parents at the South Miami Academy. These parents help spread awareness about how ADT is making a difference in the community. One of the projects they will be working on is fundraising, and they will have the unique privilege of deciding where the funds they raise will be utilized.

We would like to introduce you to the amazing group of women that make up the 2022-23 ADT parent ambassadors.

 

VANESSA CAAMANO-GONZALEZ

Why did you want to be Armour Dance Theatre parent ambassador, and what does it mean to you? 

“I became a parent ambassador because I believe in what this institution’s mission is and how it changes the lives of many young people, my daughter included. “

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

“Dance has played a big role in my life as an artist. I’m a trained dancer, and I spent many years teaching dance.  Now I continue to spend my time illustrating and creating digital art and mixed media while enjoying my daughter’s interest in the arts.”


ANNA DECARLO

Why did you want to be Armour Dance Theatre parent ambassador, and what does it mean to you? 

“I love being a parent ambassador because of the history, classical training, family environment, and community-minded culture, which makes Armour Dance Theatre unique.  My children are third-generation dancers at ADT, making this experience of representing the organization very special to me.”

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

“My time is spent homeschooling my two children, and my love of nature and the ocean is incorporated in the curriculum as I believe in a holistic approach to learning. When we are not “in School” we are growing vegetables, baking bread, and of course attending classes which could include ballet, flamenco, musical theatre, scuba diving, piano, and tennis. 

Lastly, we received our Italian citizenship this year, and we have all been studying the Italian language as another way of embracing our culture!!”


CECILIA GONZALEZ

Why did you want to be Armour Dance Theatre parent ambassador, and what does it mean to you? 

I am a parent ambassador because, aside from being an alum of this amazing school, I believe deeply in the mission to serve our youth and reflect the beautiful diversity of Miami.

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

I am a Theatre educator and Arts advocate. In addition to stage acting (when I can), I am a voiceover actor and storyteller.

 

SORRAYA GUILLAUME

Why did you wantto beArmour Dance Theatre parent ambassador, and what does it mean to you? 

“I became a parent ambassador because of my passion for ensuring that all children have an opportunity to experience the arts and nurture their talents.”

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

“I have two daughters dancing at Armour Dance Theatre. I am an alum of New World School of the Arts High School, where I studied theatre during my time there.”

 

 

MARISSA GRAY 

Why did you want to be Armour Dance Theatre parent ambassador, and what does it mean to you? 

“I am honored and excited to be a parent ambassador again for this wonderful organization. Armour Dance Theatre is so much more than a premier training academy. It holds a special place in my heart, as I have come to fully appreciate the importance of a safe, creative space where diversity, equity, and inclusion are not only valued but celebrated.”

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

“I recently started The Slotted Spoon, an allergy-friendly baking business inspired by personal experience as an allergy mom and filling a need in our community.”

BLAINE LOUNSBURY

Why did you want to be Armour Dance Theatre parent ambassador, and what does it mean to you? 

“I am a parent ambassador because I feel Armour Dance Theatre has been such an amazing experience for me. I want other families to be able to have that same experience.”

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

“Fun Fact I am a ballerina turned building contractor.”


ALEJANDRA MOLINA 

Why did you want to be Armour Dance Theatre parent ambassador, and what does it mean to you? 

“Ballet was a huge part of my life when I was growing up.  Armour Dance Theater has provided a nurturing, loving, and experienced environment for our two daughters to dance and learn. Armour Dance has become a special place in their lives, not just as dancers but as girls growing up. They feel safe, encouraged, and at home at ADT.”

 

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

“I have lived in three countries, I love doing yoga, and I am always reading more than two books at the same time.”



SHEA RODRIGUEZ

Why did you want to be Armour Dance Theatre parent ambassador, and what does it mean to you? 

“I am thrilled to be a Parent Ambassador because ADT is a true gem in our community. Their dedication to equality in dance is paramount and should be recognized and supported by all of us who understand the importance of equal access and exposure to the arts. “

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

“I am both a performer and music teacher! I toured in the 10th anniversary international tour of RENT, have done numerous off-broadway and regional theatrical productions, and currently serve as the band leader and vocalist for the South Florida outpost of New York City-based events band, The Band Method.”


MARIA SOSA

Why did you want to be Armour Dance Theatre parent ambassador, and what does it mean to you? 

“To see all colors, shapes, and sizes represented on that stage and knowing how much ballet had impacted my child was inspiring. I am honored to be able to help other kids experience what my daughter has been fortunate enough to be a part of.”

 

 

 

If you would like to be a part of the Armour Dance Theatre’s parent ambassadors, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sarah Donate at Sarah@armourdance.org

If you would like to contribute to the parent ambassador’s fundraising efforts, use the button below.

Reflections On The Summer In NYC Program

As one of our oldest programs, Summer in NYC continues to change lives and create opportunities for high school students. After a two-year COVID hiatus, we were ready to continue with this important summer tradition. 

Thanks to the support of a generous donor, sixteen ADT students traveled to NYC to attend some of the most prestigious dance intensives in the US. We believe this is one of the most rewarding opportunities we offer our students. Not only are they able to experience firsthand the “real dance world,” but they also gain skills that help them grow as individuals. Every one of them came back with unique experiences to share and lessons learned. They all describe the summer as “life-changing”.

We would like to share these reflections from our students and have you hear from them directly. Below is a collection of the student’s reflections on their NYC experience this summer.  We hope you enjoy them!

Use the button below to read the reflections our students wrote.

Miami’s Longest Standing Dance Institution Announces Its Revised Mission & Vision

Armour Dance Theatre (ADT), a well-respected, 70-year-old dance institution and one of the 18 ACPASS accredited institutions in the country, has revised its mission and vision to fully capture the wide scope of programming it offers. Regardless, if you are training at the nationally recognized South Miami Academy or through the philanthropic free after-school or summer camp Community Programs, the goal is the same, to provide exceptional dance training to ensure every child reaches their full potential.

Historical Photos from The Armour Dance Theatre Archive.

What is the new mission and vision?

Mission: Armour Dance Theatre uses the power of exceptional dance training to ensure every student reaches their full potential.

Vision: Arts education builds crucial life skills and has the power to transform a child’s future. Armour Dance Theatre will continue its legacy of making dance accessible to all children in our community regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender identity, ability, or body type.

How do we accomplish this mission and vision?

Armour Dance Theatre embodies its mission and vision — through two distinct programs, the South Miami Academy and Pointes of Impact programs.

Armour Dance Theatre’s Ballet and Contemporary South Miami Academy Students.

What is the South Miami Academy?

The South Miami Academy is Miami’s oldest dance conservatory with a rich and prestigious 70-year history. Through nationally recognized and elite training, the South Miami Academy has produced numerous professional dancers who have had careers at companies such as Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, and Dance Theatre of Harlem, to name a few.  Although the South Miami Academy began with just ballet classes, it has since expanded its class offering to include tap, musical theater, hip hop, contemporary, and Flamenco.

Students at Armour Dance Theatre’s Free After School Community Program.

What are the Pointes of Impact Programs?

As a leading dance institution, Armour Dance Theatre felt it was its responsibility to ensure the power of dance is accessible and provides a pathway to success for all youth in our community. This vision is brought to life through the obstacle-eliminating Pointes of Impact Programming, which encompasses numerous philanthropic programs, including after-school and summer camp Community Programs, Next Steps,  Summer in NYC, and Beyond the Classroom.

Why a new mission and vision? 

This revision of the new mission and vision hopes to illustrate more clearly to the public the breadth of Armour Dance Theatre’s work and its dedication to paying it forward so that every child in our community can choreograph a brighter future.

To learn more about training at our South Miami Academy, please click here, or to learn more about how you can support our Pointes of Impact, click here.

To support Armour Dance Theatre’s Pointes of Impact Programming, use the button below.

Announcing Armour Dance Theatre’s 2022-2023 Board of Directors.

8 Tips For Dance Audition Season

It’s the start of the new year and that doesn’t just mean new year’s resolutions and getting a fresh start. It also means it’s audition season. 😬  Auditions for dance intensives, magnet schools, and college programs can be nerve-wracking and even overwhelming. But don’t worry! We have been preparing our students for successful auditions for decades and we are here to help! Here are 10 tips to help you be audition-ready.

1. BE IN TIP-TOP DANCING SHAPE

Before auditioning make sure you are in your best physical and mental shape. Make sure you are putting in the maximum hours of training every week. A big part of auditions is performing! When you’re putting your hours in at the studio, make sure to practice memorizing combinations and details quickly and perform every variation and combo full out.

2. COPIES OF PHOTOS & RESUMES AVAILABLE

Every audition has different requirements. Make sure you complete all of their required forms. Bring the types of photos they are asking for, a resume, and make sure to check the fee requirement and how they accept payment.

3. COME WELL-GROOMED IN AN OUTFIT THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

Again, make sure to check the requirements for each audition. For ballet auditions, come in a black leotard, pink or skin tone tights, pink or skin tone shoes, hair in a slick clean bun, no jewelry, and don’t forget your point shoes! For modern auditions, it is very similar but wear footless or convertible tights and hair can be in a ponytail.

4. ARRIVE EARLY & CALM YOUR NERVES

Arrive at your audition early and find a spot to warm up so you are ready to perform when the audition class begins. Running in place will help calm your nerves and will keep you from feeling heavy in your legs and feet during the audition.

5. AUDITION NUMBERS

When you check in at the registration table you will be given a number. Make sure when you pin it to your leotard or shirt it is secure and visible. Wear something that makes you stand out from the rest of the auditioners like a red ribbon in your hair.

6. WHAT TO REMEMBER WHEN THE AUDITION BEGINS

When your nerves take over and the audition begins here are some things to keep at the top of your mind. 1. Perform the exercise fully. Treat this audition class like a performance. 2. Listen and watch carefully! The teachers are checking to make sure you can pick up choreography quickly and that you catch details. For example, know the counts, tempo, arms, head, and expressiveness. 3. Never look down. Keep your head up. 4. Begin and finish combinations in position and hold. 5. Know your group order and the formation that the instructor asks each group to be in. 6. Apply all corrections that the instructor gives to the class and to you personally. 7. If you make mistake don’t make a face or stop just keep going! The chances are unless you fall down no one will notice. 8. DON’T HIDE IN THE BACK! It is imperative that you are seen.  

7. DANCE CLASS ETTIQUETTE

Instructors are not just looking at your dance skills and technique. They are looking at how you conduct yourself in a classroom. Show them you have incredible dance room etiquette by not talking during class, paying attention to your body language. Don’t lean against the barres and walls. Don’t sit on the floor. Silence your phone, and do not check it during class!

8. WHAT TO DO AT THE END OF THE AUDITION

When the audition ends don’t just gather your things and leave. To thank the instructor applaud as a group. If you would like to thank the instructor personally, approach them and curtsey or bow your head.

The best thing you can do is believe in yourself.  You have prepared for this so walk in with confidence, perform your heart out, stay positive, and enjoy the audition!

If you are looking for training for audition season we have professional faculty that have trained students with incredible success for magnet dance programs, summer intensives, college dance audition programs, and more. To learn more about the training we offer use the button below.

 

In addition to dance what else are you supporting when you make a donation to Armour Dance Theatre?

Going by just our name- Armour Dance Theatre-, you could assume we are just a dance organization, but we are so much more than that! We are a community minded organization that offers a wide range of services….and we are asking for your support to help make this work possible on November 18th, 2021 for Give Miami Day.  At this point, you may be wondering why you should support us, so let us tell you all about our programs!

First, let’s start with our mission. Our mission is to create a pathway to educational and professional opportunities for the youth of Miami-Dade County, through the study and performance of dance. We are the only nationally accredited community arts school in Florida. How did we execute our mission? Read more! Are you more of a visual person? Watch the video below instead of reading this post!  

THE ACADEMY

Offering quality dance training since 1949 the Academy is a gem in the Miami dance community. Tuition rates are affordable, additionally, 200 Academy students needing financial assistance receive scholarships annually.

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS 

Free after-school and summer camps are offered to 400 elementary age students in the neighborhoods of Miami Gardens, Little Haiti, Goulds, and Perrine.

NEXT STEPS

Scholarship program for middle and high school students to access advanced dance training at the Academy with the objective of getting them into magnet schools and college.

SUMMER IN NEW YORK

High school and college students have the opportunity to attend summer intensives with professional dance companies in New York. We cover the cost of room and board for up to eight weeks.

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES

Our students from all five sites have multiple opportunities to perform each year. Productions break boundaries of race and class, giving many audience members their first chance to see someone who looks just like them performing on stage.

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

We work with a vast network of partner agencies to support and address the needs of families challenged by a lack of healthcare, legal immigration status, and food security.

 

Like what you’ve learned about the organization and want to make a pledge for Give Miami Day? Use the button below to make a pledge today!

 

 

Announcing the release of the 2021 Alumni Update.

Why you can trust Armour Dance Theatre to keep your family safe this school year.

We know that it is a big decision to send your child to after-school programming. With the constantly changing numbers for COVID-19 and variant cases, we want to assure you as parents that the safety of your child is our priority. We will continue to follow our protocols to mitigate risk while giving your child a safe space for movement, creativity, and self-expression. Let us tell you a little about our safety protocol and how we will make you comfortable when going back to dance classes.

FULLY IMMUNIZED FACULTY AND STAFF

We have a fully immunized team. From our dance faculty to office staff you can count on us to stop the spread of the virus at our academy.

STAFF SCREENINGS

All faculty and staff are required to fill out a COVID-19 screening form to make us aware of any exposure to the virus. CDC guidelines will be followed for quarantine and testing before returning to work.

MASKS ON

Students, parents, faculty, and staff must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth in the academy. To reduce the number of adults in the building we will continue to ask parents to drop children off at the gate or by car in the west driveway of our building.

SANITIZING STATIONS

Upon entering students and parents are required to sanitize their hands at the sanitizing stations provided in front of the building.

 

CLEANING BETWEEN CLASSES

What happens between classes? In between every class, a staff member will sanitize all barres and surfaces before the next class enters the studios. Deeper cleaning is done every night.

WE FOLLOW CDC GUIDELINES

We continue to follow the community changes in infection rates and adopting any new guidelines released by the CDC.

ZERO TRANSMISSION RECORD

In October of 2020, we reopened the Academy after lockdown and since then we have had ZERO cases spread at our school. We believed this is because of the strict safety protocols we have in place.

 

CLASSES ARE ON ZOOM

All classes will be offered in person as well as virtually. If your child has been exposed and is quarantined she/ he may continue to train from the safety of home.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Ruth Wiesen at 305 667 5543 or click here to review our full COVID-19 safety protocol.

Now that you have this information are you ready to DANCE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcing the 2021-2022 Board of Directors

A Strategic Leadership Change at Armour Dance Theater – Miami’s Community Dance Theater promotes from within