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Academy of Dance Arts Rewards Dedication and Improvement

Awards were given following successful production of Dance to Oz.

Students at the Academy of Dance Arts recently took to the stage at St Monica School in Gzira to perform a delightful selection of ballet, jazz, Spanish and contemporary pieces.

Following months of rehearsals and a dynamic creative process involving both the students and teachers, the production was performed to hundreds of spectators and deemed to be an all-out success.

“We have been working on the show since last summer and wanted to involve all the students, across the various levels,” explains the academy’s principal, Rowena Grech. “I believe this encourages students to work together and helps the little ones to look up to the older ones, in the hope they will be like them one day. It is also important for children to have the chance to express themselves on stage as dance is, ultimately, a performing art.”

For this reason, the team decided to adapt the Wizard of Oz storyline and transform it into a colourful, comic and vibrant dance show – Dance to Oz – with something to suit all ages.  Additionally, the opening of the show was used to showcase some of the senior students impressive talents, including intricate point work, choreography skills and comic timing. All of this was enhanced by beautiful costumes and a delightful choice of music.

“We focus on nurturing a passion for dance from a very young age,” continues Mrs Grech. “We offer movement classes to children as young as one as an introduction to ballet. We make it fun, of course, and teach everything through song and play.”

Before 2010, the Academy was known as the Deborah McNamara School of Dance, which was in operation since 2003. It was taken over by Mrs Grech in 2010, and renamed the Academy of Dance Arts. Dance to Oz was the school’s first large-scale production since it was relaunched.

“Dance is an art form in the same way as literature,” says Mrs Grech, who, aside from extensive dance training, also has a Masters of Arts in English Literature and Language. “When I took over the school I did not want to prioritise one dance form over another. I believe we have succeeded. The show highlighted the beauty of all the different types of dance that we teach, and gave all our students the chance to get involved, have fun and develop their love of the arts.”

At the end of the show, with enthusiasm still very high, one student from each class was rewarded for his or her improvement and dedication to dance through the year. Additionally, three students from across the school, Alexia Ellul, Ella Spiteri and Analise Grech, were given scholarships for their hard work. Luke Farrugia, a student who joined the academy last October in preparation for his auditions at a foreign theatre school this year, was also given a scholarship for enthusiasm and commitment.

For further information on the Academy of Dance Arts, kindly contact Rowena Grech on 21421632 or