Author: The Center Dance

Summer at The Center

Keep it COOL this summer at The Center Dance Studio!

The Center will be hosting 4 different week-long programs this summer for kids entering grades 1-5.*
*Ask about our Counselors-in-Training program for students entering grades 6-8.

Part reader/writer’s workshop, part dance your heart out/collaborative choreography, part cool down and dip at the town pool.

One hundred percent fun.

Week 1 – July 27th-31st: Picture Book Parade
In Picture Book Parade, The Center’s newest week-long summer program, kids in grades 1-5 will be immersed in the art and artistry of the picture book. We will dwell among the pages of time-honored favorites and explore the works of pioneering new authors (campers can expect a visit from at least one local author/illustrator!). We will craft our OWN picture books, practicing a colorful variety of illustration styles, DANCE our original stories as well as those of published authors, and close out the week with an “author reading” and performance in The Eric Carle Museum’s outdoor space, “Bobbie’s Meadow.” As always, hot sunny afternoons will lead us to the town pool! Register online.

Week 2 – August 3rd-7th: Midsummer Ballet 
Perfect your plié, design a tutu, paint like Degas. Adapt a scene from The Firebird, cool down with a flying leap into the town pool, then waltz over to Emily Dickinson’s Garden for some barefoot ballet! At The Center’s Midsummer Ballet program for children entering grades 1-5, young dancers will enjoy ballet-themed choreography labs, literature, arts and crafts AND daily technique classes. Register online.

Week 3 – August 10th-14th: Dance Around the World
This summer, your child can dance around the world without boarding one plane. At The Center’s Dance Around the World summer program, kids will learn traditional and contemporary dance styles from across the globe. Each day will land us on a different continent, where we’ll explore the music, literature, art and cuisine from different countries. Be sure to pack a bathing suit! Open to children entering grades 1-5. Register online.

Week 4 – August 17th-21st: Fairies & Folklore
At our Fairies & Folklore summer dance program, kids will read classic fairy tales, write their own, and DANCE them all! We’ll build gnome homes, brew ambrosia, scribble spells, and maybe even meet some water nymphs at the town pool. Open to children entering grades 1-5. Register online.

Drop-off: 9:00 AM at The Center Dance Studio, 321 Main Street in Amherst, MA
Pick-up: 4:00 PM at The Center Dance Studio (4:30 PM late pick-up option available)

To register, email, call 413-230-1944 or visit our Square Store.
$325/week. A $50 deposit secures your child’s spot (balance due by July 1st); OR pay in full now.

Center Stage!

Curtains up!

The Center Dance is thrilled to announce Center Stage: a marvelous medley of musical theater, tap and improvisational dance styles. Students will work with the fundamentals of theatrical dance, learn choreography straight off of Broadway, and master a “step, ball change!”

Whether your child is an aspiring performer, a Broadway enthusiast, or simply looking for a fabulous way to kick off the weekend, Center Stage is the place to be!

Recommended for kids in grades 5-7.

Fridays, 4:30-5:30 PM
Tuition: $240

16-week session begins February 7th.

To register, visit our Square Store or email

It’s YOUR turn in the spotlight; enroll TODAY!

Midweek Dance Party!

Dance your way through that Wednesday slump in Midweek Dance Party – The Center’s new class for elementary school kids with a weekly Wednesday early release (home school students, too!).

A boisterous blend of pop, freestyle and contemporary dance, THIS is a party you won’t want to miss!

2-3 PM
12-week session begins Wednesday, February 5th.
Tuition is $180.

Recommended for kids in grades 1-4.


Email or call 413-230-1944. OR register on our Square Store.

Perch & Swoop – Free First Fridays!

Introducing…FREE FIRST FRIDAYS at The Center!

On the first Friday of each month, The Center will host a FREE morning of dance, stories and play for toddlers and their caregivers. Perch & Swoop offers the best of The Center’s Pre-K creative movement curriculum, bookended by simple art activities, a wholesome snack, and play time.

9:30-11:30 AM

Recommended for toddlers ages 18 months through 4 years. 

Winter/Spring ’20 Dates:

  • February 7th
  • March 6th
  • April 3rd
  • May 1st

Pre-registration opens the 15th of each month. Email or call 413-230-1944.

Space is limited, so don’t wait!

Afra Dance @ The Center!

The Center Dance is excited to be welcoming back Ashirah DeviDalomba and Kalpana Devi for a special series of classes in 2020!

Afra Dance (1 hour, grades 3-8) is a diverse, spirited and life affirming celebration. Afra Dance provides a deeply energizing experience of dance and drum from the roots of traditional African dance forms. The call of live drums and the movement they inspire, supports dancers of all ages to flow in the breath, rhythm and art of living!

Ashirah DeviDalomba, a junior at Amherst Regional High School, is a dancer, performer, choreographer and musician. In addition to teaching “Afra Dance” at The Center, she enjoys assisting Tracy Vernon’s dance class at ARMS and is a member of a pre-professional dance company, Hatchery, out of the School For Contemporary Dance and Thought in Northampton. Ashirah is also a member and part-time teaching and directing assistant of One Earth Drum Dance CO, an Amherst-based company for teens.

Kalpana Devi has taught African Dance and drumming at the Putney School in Vermont, Williston Northampton, Suffield Academy, Northfield Mount Hermon and Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School where she also served as interim director of the department of dance and founded and directed the school’s first African dance company. She is the recipient of numerous grant awards including a finalist in the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for dance in education.

Kalpana’s experience in teaching includes facilitating dance experiences in various settings in and around New England, the eastern seaboard, and West Africa. Her contributions in dance education incorporate West African dance technique; also taking into account, world history of dance, dance in the community, drumming, drumming for dancers, composition, and body conditioning, all curriculums which she has taught. Her signifying strength is the way in which she loves fiercely and invites students and dance company members into a dynamic relationship with their soul purpose. She is known as a “rare change maker” who compassionately facilitates young people to express leadership and to raise their voices as influencers from the heart. She founded and directed a drum and dance company and brought them to tour in West Africa where they had opportunity to study with master dancers and drummers of the region. She also toured the company to Philadelphia where they were competitively selected to perform at the National High School Dance Festival by a rigorous panel of international judges. Between 2001 and 2008, she founded and produced an intergenerational summer dance and drum camp, housed at Smith College.

She has training and certification in the healing arts and is the creator of Tuning Mastery, a counsel and private practice where she has been helping clients for over 10 years. She is currently editing her first book.

Afra Dance meets Tuesdays from 5:15-6:15 PM.

16-week session is $240. Register today!

How do YOU Dance?

Register now for The Center’s Winter/Spring ‘20 Choreography Labs…and prepare to take YOUR dance moves to the stage!

Students in Spinning Yarns (grades 1-2), Turning Pages (3-4), Story Arc (grades 4-7) and Theme & Variation (8-12) will create dances, soundscapes, costumes and sets for The Center’s 5th annual spring show, based on Thyra Heder’s irresistibly fun new picture book, How Do You Dance?

Weeks 1-8 will focus on developing modern dance technique, improvisation and choreography skills; weeks 9-16 will be devoted to producing the spring show! Students who do not wish to perform ARE welcome in this class (in addition to dance-building, costume-making and set design, backstage roles will abound!).

For full class descriptions, visit our Classes page.

Register online, by email, or by calling 413-230-1944.


Story Ballet: Register Now!

Register now for Story Ballet: a unique blend of movement, picture books and play.

Story Ballet (45 minutes, ages 3-6) invites young dancers to explore the world of ballet through an imaginative lens. Using imagery and children’s literature as inspiration, students will engage with the vocabulary and principles of classical ballet. Our interactive, developmentally appropriate class structure nurtures students’ enthusiasm for dance while cultivating focus and a growth mindset.

Now in its fifth year, The Center’s Pre-K Program continues to delight, inspire, and welcome young children into the world of dance.

Find a story. Find your feet. Then, tell us a dance!

Classes fill fast, so register today!

The more, the merrier!

Join The Center Dance in Amherst on Sunday, December 15th for an exciting spin on a wintertime classic! It’s A 21st Century Nutcracker – dance styles from across the globe (and right next door!) set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score.

Curtains will rise in the Amherst Regional High School auditorium at 1PM and 5PM.
Tickets are available online or, beginning 11/25, at The Center Dance Studio.

Ticket Prices:
General Admission: $15
Seniors/Students/Children 12 and under: $10

*Tickets may be purchased at ARHS on the day of the show; cash or check only.

A 21st Century Nutcracker.  Let’s play with tradition!