Six years ago, Robyn D’Angelo, then a new mother of two, decided she would put her two loves – teaching and dancing – together. After having her two daughters, Robyn left her job as an 8th grade English teacher in Paramus to follow a dream. In 2007, she opened the Robyn D’Angelo School of Dance in Little Ferry.
Now, D’Angelo says the school is doing so well, she wanted to expand into her own neck of the woods. She opened her second location on Main Street in Ramsey last week.
D’Angelo lives with her family in Mahwah.
“I already have a school near where I grew up [in Little Ferry],” D’Angelo told Patch Monday, while preparing for one of the many free trial classes she’ll be offering prospective students for the next few weeks. “I knew for my second location, I wanted to open a school near where my kids are growing up.”
After rebuilding her Little Ferry School for about three weeks after Hurricane Sandy, and continuing now to help her students there with tuition, costume costs and other initiatives to help the region recover from the superstorm, D’Angelo said she was eager to open her new Ramsey location.
“They come in as shy little kids, and they leave as performers with a love for dance and the arts. I love to see that,” she said of her students. “All of my students really grow as a family here. We are a little community, and I think that’s what sets us apart.”
The school offers a range of classes – from traditional styles like ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop, to gymnastics and musical theater.
The school accepts students from ages 2½ through adult, and all experience levels are welcome. Robyn D’Angelo students complete year-round classes, perform in a recital every June and dance in competitions throughout the year against other area dance schools. The first competition dance tryouts for the school will be in April.
“Performing is so positive for kids,” D’Angelo said of why her school emphasizes these performances for its students. “It helps with public speaking, presentation skills, confidence. The things dance does for a young person is amazing.”
She added that she feels her story is one that can provide an example for her students. D’Angelo, who has been dancing all her life, said she spent years commuting between Little Ferry and Mahwah, always gawking at windows along East Main Street in Ramsey.
“I’d dream about my name on an awning here,” she said. “Now, I can’t believe my name is actually going up next week. It’s exacty what I tell my students all the time. If you set a goal for yourself, no matter how hard you have to work to achieve it, you can succeed.”
D’Angelo, whose new studio is at 26 East Main Street, is posting a schedule of new free trial classes on Facebook. Check the page for updates and information on the classes, or call 201-760-1206.