Tomorrow begins the week of intensive dance camp at the Joan Izzo Academy of Dance. Mary Beth has been counting the days since the summer began. This is her place, a place she found to be utterly feminine and perfectly wonderful way back when she was the only girl with five brothers. Now, it is home away from home. She works hard to earn money to spend four evenings a week and every Saturday dancing in the company of some of her favorite people in the world.
Dance is a scary world for the mother of daughters. For all the beauty and grace on stage, the backstage scene be rather like a horror show: an obsession with body image, starvation model nutrition, girls being girls in the worst ways possible, long rehearsal nights and stressful demands for perfection. Joan Izzo keeps a watchful eye on all of that. And none of it is tolerated. She expects the girls to behave like daughters of God and she does everything possible to ensure that they do.
The secret to the difference at this studio is that the girls are taught from time they are very little that talent is a gift from God and dance is a way to glorify Him. The studio has served northern Virginia since 1996, providing young people with dance lessons by highly qualified dance instructors, who incidentally become friends and mentors of the girls as they grow. The school beautifully blends a joyful dance learning experience with an excellent technical foundation which nurtures exceptionally excellent dancers year after year. No matter the genre -- hip hop, ballet, jazz, tap, or dance as a worshipful experience--the girls are taught to do all for the Glory of God. That means that the music is respectful. And costumes are tasteful. The young dancers learn and grow in an environment of mutual respect and camaraderie.
If you live in the northern Virginia area and you are even vaguely considering dance lessons for your daughter, I urge you to give Mrs. Izzo a call. Prepare to chat for awhile--she is passionate about what she does and seeks to get to know each and every student and her family personally. And here's where the giveaway comes in. I promised Mrs. Izzo I'd get the word out. So, call her and let her know you read this. And when you've talked, whether you decide to enroll or not, come back and leave a comment letting me know you called. Comments will close at midnight on Monday, August 22. Everyone who has checked out the studio will be eligible for a drawing to win one of our favorite art and dance picture books, Degas and the Little Dancer :
or an MP3 download or CD of our favorite dance music.
Since this giveaway is limited to local folks with girls (or boys) who might want to dance, and since there are two prizes, chances are good you'll win.
Now, go call Ms. Joan at 703-327-8402 and come back and tell me all about it!