By Janee Law
At Posey School of Dance in Northport, students don’t just dance, they embrace the art of dance, according to Elsa Posey, founder and director of the school.
Students develop technical skills, learn cultural and historical aspects of dance, dance notation and literature and become involved in the creative process of dance composition and choreography.
“It’s an artistic experience, and it’s an educational one, so it’s an arts discipline and it’s a very rare approach,” Posey, 77, of East Northport, said. “Our graduates go into college and university work very easily because they’re trained that way and they dance for the rest of their lives.”
Open since 1953, the school offers classical ballet, modern dance, tap, jazz, creative dance, and a preschool program. The school, which is located in a building built in 1893, has a total of three multi-use education rooms, including one main studio.
“The basics of dance are really the elements of time, force and space,” Posey said, adding that dance is a way of expression and communication. “If you know how people dance you know a great deal about them.”
Posey attended New York City Ballet’s School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theater and said she became a teacher because she enjoys working with people and loves the historical aspects of dance.
“So having children learn dances from around the world and from different eras in our historical background, they get an excellent education, not just intellectually but through their body,” Posey said, who teaches six classes at the school. “It becomes very personal and very much alive.”
Although not a recital or competition school, the nonprofit organizes performances, having recently performed “Peter and the Wolf” and the “Northport Nutcracker Ballet.”
With students ranging in age from 2-82 years old, Posey said students don’t only learn how to perform, they also learn the business side of the industry as well, collaborating with others and choreographing performances.
“Traditionally the forms of dance that we teach have rules and regulations but the artistry is from the individual and how they use and work within those confines,” Posey said. “I often say to my students, you learn the rules so you can break them as an artist but you have to know the rules first.”
With tuition for the 36-week school year at $800 for each class the student is enrolled in, students will develop leadership skills in communication and social situations.
Now as the summer season rolls in, Posey School is preparing for two summer programs. From July 11-Aug. 19, Posey’s preschool program for ages 3-6 offers dance, fine art, music, poetry, dramatics, yoga and more, at $245 per week.
For students ages 7 and older, Posey’s school summer program runs from July 11-Aug. 18 and, for $395 per week, offers ballet, pointe/pre-pointe, variations, jazz and tap, modern and contemporary dance notation and more.
The goal for Posey School is that students develop a love and appreciation of dance, Posey said.
She added, “They may not become performers but dance will always be a part of themselves, a part of their expression and how they take care of themselves.”
Posey School of Dance
57 Main St.,