NORTH ADAMS -- Longtime dancer and experienced instructor Jessica Gwozdz has opened a private dance school, Studio North Dance Arts, offering a host of classes at various levels and reasonable fees.
An open house is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, at the studio, 145 State St.
Classes, for ages 3 to adult, are slated to begin Oct. 1.
After having studied the art of dance for 24 years, and serving as operations manager and faculty member at Berkshire Dance Theatre Inc., Gwozdz decided it was time to follow her dream and establish her own studio.
She said she has been mulling over the idea of owning a dance studio since high school. She recently discovered the empty space on State Street -- once the site of Lynn's Studio -- still with the intact hardwood dance floor and mirrors, and believed it was the right time to move ahead.
"Once the idea clicked, my excitement grew," said Gwozdz, who has been cleaning and decorating the leased space. "I plan to provide options for all types of dance students -- offering a solid base of classes for once-a-week dancers who enjoy other activities, such as sports or theatre in addition to dance, as well as providing a well-rounded program for those who wish to dance more intensively at an advanced level. I plan to include programming for adults to enjoy dance as well."
Beginner levels will introduce the classic dance disciplines of ballet, tap, and jazz
"By invitation only" advanced classes are geared toward dancers who excel technically and are dedicated in pursuing more serious training. There will also be adult ballet stretch and barre beginner and intermediate jazz offerings to start with, with more adult programming to follow.
Gwozdz began her dance instruction with former BDT executive director and owner of The Brookfield School of Dance and The Studio, Susan Hakes. She has experience in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, modern, tumbling, acrobatics, and choreography; and has performed annually in the BDT's production.
She successfully completed Grade VI level of the Cecchetti Ballet Exams, and recently engaged in an advanced level intensive ballet training workshop with Natalya Getman, former principal dancer with the Moscow Ballet.
Gwozdz is vice president for the Connecticut Chapter (#20) of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts, Inc. She has participated over the years in multiple NADAA workshops and conferences to expand her knowledge of dance technique, teaching skills, and performance ability.
A 1999, summa cum laude alumna of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Gwozdz graduated with a bachelor in fine arts degree. She was employed a total of 12 years at the BDT; first as an office assistant, promoted in 2005 to operations manager, and in 2008 to also serve as faculty member.
Additional Studio North Dance Arts faculty will be announced at a later date.
For more information, fees or to register for classes, go to Studio North Dance Arts on Facebook (www.facebook. com/StudioNorth Dance Arts); e-mail at jessica.snda@ gmail.com; or call (413) 662-2229.