Amanda Malizia moved her business, Simply Dance Studio, to Woodbridge because she was looking for a welcoming business community. She had moved her studio around a few times looking for a long-term home. A friend and client had recently opened a business in Woodbridge and spoke highly about the experience. Malizia reached out to her friend’s realtor, Steve Miller of Levey Miller Maretz, and within a month she had signed a lease and relocated to Woodbridge. The studio is at 1768 Litchfield Turnpike behind the Levey Miller Maretz offices.
Malizia has been dancing for 28 years and has owned the studio for seven. She danced professionally and toured, but realized at age 23 that she was tired of traveling so she started a studio and began teaching. “I tried to navigate my way through the professional world and it was very difficult,” she said. “My goal as an instructor is that I want people to be able to dance once a week as a hobby or, if you’re trying to go professional, I can guide you through that process.”
Malizia offers classes in tap and jazz, lyrical, aerial dance and tumbling, adult tap and jazz, musical theater, hip hop, ballet and audition training. She is looking for ballroom, pilates, and yoga instructors who’d like to run classes at the studio. Students range in age from toddler to adult.
Hers is not a traditional dance studio – the students don’t enter competitions and there’s no tuition. Instead, classes are based on a drop-in fee which can be paid weekly or monthly. The drop-in policy also allows students to try different dance styles. In addition, there are master classes taught by New York-based professional dancers and trips to places like Broadway Dance Center.
Malizia has also started a small dance company, Eminence Movment, that gives advanced dancers a chance to experience the professional world. Eminence Movment has auditioned for America’s Got Talent and has performed twice at RAW Artists, a national arts showcase.
Since many of her students do other sports, she tries to be flexible with their schedules. Instead of competitions, students do a winter showcase and another in May, giving students a chance to experience a traditional recital and professional show. The only students who need to be committed to the dance classes are those who plan to participate in the shows. The winter showcase is open to the public and will be in New Haven at ECA on December 14 at 5:30 pm. Tickets are $15 at the door or online.
For more information, visit www.simply-dance.net or call 203-435-7077.