In The News

Primed for Success

By Christina Raymond
Dance Studio Life Magazine
May 1, 2015

“…Maria Altebrando, owner of Palmyra Academy of Dance in Palmyra, Pennsylvania (now in its second year of business), says that opening her studio was a 24/7 job. “In the six months leading up to opening our doors, I would often wake up in the middle of the night and write notes to myself; there was always more to do,” she says. The mother of three finds that, even with help from a team of teachers and her mother serving as executive director, there is enough work to keep custom essay writing her busy for nearly 40 hours a week. While her mother focuses on finances, Altebrando, as the school’s artistic director, manages the faculty and prepares for shows—dealing with vendors and venues, selecting music and costumes—in addition to teaching and choreographing…”

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Pennsylvania cancer survivor fulfills dream
by opening dance studio

10/7/2013, WGAL News 8


Students First, Dance Second

By Aura Hill
Hummelstown Sun
Thursday, September 12, 2013

PALMYRA – “At Palmyra Academy of Dance, our mission is simple – students first, dance second,” said Maria Altebrando, whose first classes at her new school of dance began Sept. 9. “Our goal is to encourage our students to love dance and grow in personal self-esteem in preparation for life.”

Altebrando and her mother, Agatha Barone, are coowners of Palmyra Academy of Dance, which, they feel, is unique in the area.

“We are the first dance studio to be located in the borough of Palmyra,”Altebrando said, adding that when they went before the zoning board, the borough didn’t even have a zoning delineation for dance studios but worked with them from the start.

“We are so proud to have the support from Palmyra. Friends and neighbors have offered to help and people here have happily led us in the right directions,” she said.

Instruction will reflect her New York City training. There, she trained week by week with leading professionals in the dance industry, was a member of several noted dance companies and performed at venues throughout the city. She was a student demonstrator for Dance Educators of America as well as Dance Olympus. She has taught all levels and styles of dance, but her passion remains ballet. Even now, she returns to New York to take classes and dance.

“The people I dance with are teaching Master Classes in the city. Dance is always evolving. There is always new stuff,” she said, “ I am excited for the kids here to see the traditional powerhouse Broadway style of dance.”

That style and intensity of dance, grounded in the basics of ballet and tap, are the backbone of Palmyra Academy of Dance’s curriculum, which offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, pom and combo for youngest students ages 3 to 5.

Altebrando was 3 when she started taking dance lessons in Long Island, N.Y., where the family lived.

“I loved dancing as a kid,” Barone said. “I thought it would give my children poise and confidence,” she said.

Therefore, all five of her children – three daughters and two sons – enjoyed the benefits and discipline of dance that she says will remain with them forever.

Barone, the studio’s executive director, sees Palmyra Academy of Dance helping parents give their children a wonderful experience of learning new things while enjoying the process.

“It gave me so much, so much of who I am,” Altebrando said, describing her love of dance that grew into a passion and ultimately a dream for the mother and daughter team to establish a school.

“I am a big fan of dance in education, especially in elementary school. It helps develop the brain, promotes communication, innovation and imagination. Of course, it is an amazing physical workout, feeling the music and expression, being around people – it fosters maturity, confidence, focus and responsibility.”

Located in Palmyra’s Cali Center, 617 W. Main St., the academy has two separate studios — one, a full stage size, the other, a bit smaller. Clean dark blue walls punctuated with crisp white rails and ceiling present a sharp uncluttered look.

“We opened registration for classes in July and over 100 students registered,” Altebrando said. “We were surprised at the number but we still have spots for kids and are willing to be flexible. Classes will be small, 8 to 10, depending on the class and the age,” she said. “I want every single one to get individual attention; it’s important to have a balance between tension and direction and the person. They will all be taught with love.”

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Palmyra woman to open dance studio

Lebanon Daily News
Updated:   08/08/2013 06:57:24 PM EDT
PALMYRA – Dancing has been Maria Altebrando’s passion in life. The Long Island native started dancing when she was 3 years old, learning from some of the best dancers in New York.

On Saturday, Altebrando will realize a life-long dream: opening her own dance studio – Palmyra Academy of Dance. Altebrando’s studio will hold an open house from noon to 5 p.m. at the studio, 617 W. Main St., in the Cali business center.

“It’s my life’s passion,” she said.

Altebrando said her mother, Agatha Barone, who is co-owner of the studio, has been encouraging her to open a studio for some time. Altebrando and her husband moved to Palmyra seven years ago from Long Island. Coming from the big city to a small community in central Pennsylvania, she wasn’t sure how the family would fit in.

“But we were rooted so fast. Love the community, love being part of the community,” she said. “The community was so welcoming.”

She taught dance and helped manage two studios in Long Island, so she is familiar with what it takes to run a business. For the past seven years, she has been raising the couple’s three children.

Barone said all of her children learned to dance, noting that it gave them poise and confidence….