1958 was a busy year in the world of dance. Across the country, daring new dance styles were emerging, ushering in the likes of rock n’ roll, boogie-woogie and “bop”, the low swiveling Charleston-like steps often danced in place. Times they were a’changing and this was reflected in the late 1950’s pop culture, music and dance.
Another significant 1958 milestone appeared with the opening of a new dance studio in Rhode Island ~ the Jean DeLuca Dance Studio. Here, the gifted dancer and instructor Jean DeLuca opened her dance studio to introduce children of all ages to the “art of dance.” It was her dream to share with young children the “joy of dance and to watch them grow technically and creatively through their high school years.” From this humble beginning and with a passion undimmed by time, Jean DeLuca inspired young dancers from across the state and over generations to love the artistic expression of dance, to love movement, and to love how dance made them feel.
In 2014, after nearly 57 years as the owner of the Jean DeLuca Dance Studio, Jean DeLuca finally decided to hang up her dance shoes and retire from the studio. But Jean’s legacy was not to end, in fact, through the efforts of two of her most loyal proteges, it lives on today. Jean DeLuca Dance Studio is now owned by these proteges, both former students and talented dancer/choreographers Lori Barrone and Kris Macaruso Marotti.
Today, as in so many years past, you can feel the energy and love of dance that remains. Behind a glass observation wall is a large hardwood dance floor where nine aspiring dancers are stretching, swirling, leaping and extending their limbs in graceful unison. Light reflects off the mirrored wall and casts a soft glow on their movements. There is joy here, but also focus and concentration. The girls are transformed by their instructor who leads them through each step.
At this freshly painted studio, Lori and Kris, who both once danced with the Festival Ballet Company and are busy professionals outside their lives as the studio’s owners and instructors, are able to carry forth Jean’s passion for dance to a whole new generation. Each of the instructors here were also former students of Jean’s, all of whom have won competition awards for performing and choreography and have attended Master classes.
All styles of dance are taught here, including ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, musical theater and contemporary. Classes are taught to students from age 3 through adulthood and are grouped by age and ability level. There is something for everyone here, including their ever-growing competition team for more advanced dancers.
Jean DeLuca Dance Studio is located on 1665 Hartford Avenue. Hours are Monday – Thursday, 4:30 – 9:00 and Saturdays. To register for your class, call 942-3005 or visit their informative website at www.JeanDeLucaDance.com.