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Tap 'n Arts Dance Studio Teaches Dance, Acting And Life Skills

By S. Mathur

The Tap 'n Arts Dance Studio opened in Harrisburg PA in 1990 and has offered dance and acting lessons to students of all ages, skill levels and abilities ever since. A number of different styles, including tap dance, jazz, ballet and hip hop are taught. Classes can begin at preschool and continue through high school and into adulthood. For many people, their happiest childhood days were spent at the studio. Many former students now send their own children to the dance classes.

The convenient location in the Colonial Park Mall makes it easier to drop off the kids for a class while you run errands or catch a movie. But there's much more to it than that. Children learn self confidence and hard work, along with grace and self expression. They also make lifelong friends here.

"We teach more than dance," owner and co-founder Kristin Foltz Petrou said. "We strive to help students learn proper techniques, gain confidence and lasting friendships in a nurturing, noncompetitive environment. We give students the opportunity to be creative, original and express themselves through the performing arts."

The studio is a safe and non threatening environment.

"We strive to provide a safe, nurturing, family-friendly atmosphere," Petrou said. "We believe it takes a village to help care for, educate and nurture a child so they can learn, grow and develop into a healthy, positive and responsible adult."

Children can begin creative movement classes as early as two years. For ages three to seven, they can take classes in the Triple Threat combination. Children are introduced to ballet, jazz and tap dancing, one at a time, from age three on, and acting and musical theatre from five years. For those over 18 years of age, there are adult tap, hip hop and Zumba classes.

There is a strong emphasis on correct technique, and much else. Children learn values like honesty, trust, integrity, courage, teamwork, discipline, respect, responsibility, perseverance and optimism. Students must have the proper clothes, shoes and costumes for classes and performances. These are available for sale at the studio.

The annual dance show, Stepping Out, showcases students work and is the big event of the year held at Forum Auditorium. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show.

"Our 11 a.m. dance show consists of our youngest students, between the ages of two and seven, and lasts approx 1.5 hours," Petrou said. "Our 4 show consists of the rest of our students, beginning at 8 years of age, and lasts approx 2.5 hours. In the past, we've sold nearly 1,800 tickets selling out the Forum."

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Craig Petrou

The Colonial Park Mall is the only location in the Harrisburg area in which you can drop off your children for dance class, at the Tap 'n Arts Dance Studio, and then immediately go shopping, watch a

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