Wilton Dance Studio celebrates 25 years

“To see us dance is to see our hearts sing” is the message in a frame on the wall of the Wilton Dance Studio (WDS). It is the message the school has shared with students for 25 years.

This year the studio celebrates a quarter-century of not just teaching dance but also helping students express themselves through its many forms.

“I started dancing when I was 3 years old so I think this is my 14th year here at Wilton Dance Studio,” said Madeleine Woodworth, a senior at Wilton High School and current WDS student. “When I was little I always dreamed of being one of the big girls and going en pointe and wearing a tutu. I kept this dream alive until I finally achieved it. When I was little my mom introduced me to a lot of different sports and activities. But nothing was quite like dancing here at WDS.”

Madeleine will be one of more than 200 students from seven towns — including more than 80 from Wilton — who will perform in the school’s 2014 Spring Show on Sunday, June 8, at 1 and 4:30, in the Clune Center for the Performing Arts at Wilton High School.

Also appearing will be another Wilton High senior, Kathleen Smith, who reflected on her study at WDS.

“I’ve been dancing for 13 years. I started because my best friend danced,” she said. “She left to play other sports and I stayed. I love dance, both the mental and physical challenges. I play multiple instruments, so I love the musical aspect. Mostly, though, I just love the girls I dance with. We are as close as best friends.”

Brenda Froehlich, Wilton native and owner and artistic director of the studio, said her commitment to dance education and creating a community of dancers has been life-long.

“I’ve known since I was a young teenager that I wanted to be a teach dance,” she said. “I started out teaching for another school moving through the ranks of novice teacher to ballet division director. I briefly left teaching to start my own family but in 1989 my husband, Mark Froehlich, gave me the encouragement and support I needed to go out on my own.

“Being a dance teacher is not the easiest or the most glamorous job in the world. But there are many reasons to rejoice that I chose this field so many years ago. Every day I have the opportunity to touch a child’s life in a positive way.”

Students who graduate from WDS come away with more than a talent for dancing.

“Dance has taught me discipline, how to work together with and respect other people, the importance of hard work and how it does indeed pay off in the end, and most importantly, dance has taught me to be confident in myself, and to never fear the spotlight,” Madeleine said.

Wilton Dance Studio will continue to evolve,” Ms. Froelich said.

“I see the school continuing to grow with the changing tastes in dance techniques and styles, while remaining true to our roots of providing a high-quality ballet foundation,” she said.

Students’ later success takes many paths.

“Many of the dancers who have passed through the studio doors go onto become lawyers, doctors, models, professional dancers, mothers, actors and so much more,” Ms. Froelich said. “One of our former students was the youngest American recruited by The Bolshoi in Russia. But most of all we’re delighted to watch them become successful and confident adults.”

The 2014 Spring Show will begin with a ballet, “The Forest.” “All That Jazz” is a revue featuring jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary and Irish dance, as well as individual ballet performances. These reflect the work of a year of dance class and a variety of music styles, as well as student choreography from some classes.

Also included in the show’s 1 p.m. performance is Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes, featuring the studio’s youngest dancers from 3 years old through kindergarten. This show is designed to let each dance class take a turn on the stage while also making it comfortable for younger dancers just getting used to performing.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 203-544-9007 and leave a message or order at wiltondance.com. Tickets are also available at the door on the day of the show.