What happens when two classically trained dancers meet a distressed building? A beautfiul, state of the art Dance Studio that is now attended by more than 200 students of all ages!
Jamie and Kristin Roberts moved to the Huntingdon County area with the dream to start a dance studio. Kristin has danced with the Allegheny Ballet, the Northwest Ballet, The San Francisco Ballet, and the Kansas City Ballet. Jamie danced with the School of American Ballet in New York City, the Boston Ballet, and worked with the Joffrey Ballet as an independent artist.
In August of 2011, Jamie and Kristin Roberts purchased the former Carole Thompson School of Dance and renamed it the Huntingdon Dance Academy. They quickly realized they needed more room and a long term home for their business so in early 2012, they purchased the former Unitas Bank building at 501 Penn Street in Huntingdon.
Needless to say, this historic downtown building took a lot of renovation. In order to open for business, the Roberts had to:
- Replace bad sections of the roof
- Repair or replace damaged drywall
- Update the heating/cooling systems to increase efficiency and decrease monthy utility expense
- Install sprung dance floors and dance surfaces
- Install mirrors and Ballet/dance barre’
- Update the electrical system to resolve unsafe conditions
- Bring all bathrooms and the kitchens in the apartments up to code
- Install a wall in the back hallway as a sound buffer
- Purchase sound systems for studios A & B
And the list goes on and on!
The first floor is now handicap accessible with 2 dance studios, 2 functioning bathrooms, a dressing room, a parental lounge with closed circuit TV, and an office.
The Objective of Huntingdon Dance Academy is to provide opportunity for dancers of all ages; whether learning their beginning steps, refining their skills, mastering dance technique, or just taking classes to have fun and be fit.
The Mission Statement of Huntingdon Dance Academy states: Huntingdon Dance Academy is dedicated to providing high quality instruction in a wide variety of dance forms for dancers of all levels of interest. We are committed to providing access to the performing arts through dance workshops and student productions within Central Pa. and throughout the Northeast Region.
Jamie and Kristin have been true to their Objective and Mission Statement. They have been doing it right. The enrollment at Huntingdon Dance Academy is now over 200 participants.