While this fall’s focus is on expanding theater, there will be no shortage of dancing at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio, thanks to several impressive additions.
The first is new faculty member Michael Kubala, best known for his principal role as Billy Flynn in the Tony award winning revival of “Chicago.” Kubala has been featured in seven Broadway shows, and brings his acting/dancing prowess to Princeton Dance and Theater Studio this fall.
“We are over the moon that Michael is joining us,” said Co-Owner Risa Kaplowitz, who runs Princeton Dance and Theater Studio with noted ballerina Susan Jaffe. “He’ll be teaching beginner tap/jazz, and intermediate and advanced Broadway jazz, as well as private voice and dance lessons.”
Kubala’s appointment solidifies the exceptional Musical Theatre Division, which took off this summer with another stellar staff appointment: Jody Wood. An experienced stage and screen actor, Wood is a veteran of numerous TV shows, such as “Boston Public,” and mounted an off-Broadway show in New York. He teaches comedy, improv and advanced scene study.
Dancers need not fear, however; there’s plenty of dance left at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio. Kaplowitz is thrilled to announce “African dance is back,” thanks to new staffer Yewande Kelley-Johnson, founder and artistic director Iwa L’ewa Heritage Ensemble. Kelley-Johnson has performed at the Apollo, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She is a New Jersey state certified master teacher of African dance, a New Jersey state artist and residence and a five-time recipient of the New Jersey Folk Artists Grant.
“We said we’d get the best, or we wouldn’t hold the class,” Kaplowitz explained of African dance’s recent absence. “Yewande is on-board, so we again are offering African dance.”
A Princeton Dance and Theater Studio hallmark has been — and continues to be — ballet. “That program is 300 percent on-track,” Kaplowitz raved. “Our students are extraordinary. We’re placing students in the top training programs and professional companies in the country.”
In addition to a full menu of ballet and musical theater classes for children and teens, Princeton Dance and Theater Studio also offers a variety of adult classes. This fall, tap is being offered to adults. Kaplowitz says salsa is “huge,” as is flamenco.
“It’s never too late to enjoy dance,” Kaplowitz enthused. “Adults are discovering that it’s more fun to dance than it is to pump iron. It’s a great workout.”
Interested students can learn more about all classes during an Open House: Sunday, August 27, 12 to 3 p.m., and Monday, August 28, 4 to 7 p.m. Offerings for the fall include jazz, hip-hop, Broadway dance, singing for theater, acting classes, ballroom for kids and adults, salsa, flamenco and ballet. New ballet students also will be assessed and given placement at this time. Those interested in ballet should call for an appointment for an evaluation.
Princeton Dance & Theater Studio, Princeton Forrestal Village, Route 1 South, 116 Rockingham Row, Princeton.