Where are the best dance schools in NYC? | Best of Staten Island 2022 ultimate guide

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Need to know where you can get your groove on?

Well, we have some suggestions.

For our first Best of Staten Island category of 2022, we asked readers to tell us their favorite dance schools, and they nominated 37 standout spots through hundreds of comments on social media.

The top-three vote-getters were Center Stage Dance Studio, Star Struck Dance and Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio.

1. Center Stage Dance Studio, 10 Akron St., Bulls Head (718-982-9226, enterstagedancecoltd.org, @centerstage_danceco on Instagram)

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Center Stage Dance Studio in Bulls Head, run by Amanda Dalli, was named one of the top dance schools on Staten Island by readers in our Best of Staten Island 2022 poll. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

Ask Amanda Dalli what her mantra is, and she’ll tell you: Anybody can dance. The owner of Bulls Head-based Center Stage Dance Studio has built a loyal following in her nine years of business, welcoming in boys and girls of all ages to learn — and love — the art she has practiced since she was a toddler.

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Center Stage Dance Studio in Bulls Head, run by Amanda Dalli, was named one of the top dance schools on Staten Island by readers in our Best of Staten Island 2022 poll. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

Her passion for dance has translated to her students, which in turn has created an award-winning competitive program. Students are both eager to practice their moves at Dalli’s instruction, but also just be around the palpable positive and fun energy that radiates within the studio’s four walls.

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Center Stage Dance Studio in Bulls Head, run by Amanda Dalli, was named one of the top dance schools on Staten Island by readers in our Best of Staten Island 2022 poll. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

Dancers enthusiastically call Center Stage Dance Studio a “second home,” and the inclusive team that practices day in and day out is a “tight-knit family.”

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Center Stage Dance Studio in Bulls Head, run by Amanda Dalli, was named one of the top dance schools on Staten Island by readers in our Best of Staten Island 2022 poll. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

Dalli does not take full credit for the environment fostered at Center Stage Dance Studio, often noting how grateful she is to parents and families who have been “so supportive and amazing, and so loyal” over the years.

Dalli hopes to continue to grow the studio, and invites any child interested in learning dance to give it a shot — even if they’re feeling nervous.

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Center Stage Dance Studio in Bulls Head, run by Amanda Dalli, was named one of the top dance schools on Staten Island by readers in our Best of Staten Island 2022 poll. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

“Come, put your best foot forward, no one is going to make fun of you here,” she said. “Everybody starts somewhere. You just have to get your foot in the door and give it a go. It would mean so much to me to just bring all of the kids in and give them everything that I’ve got.”

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Center Stage Dance Studio in Bulls Head, run by Amanda Dalli, was named one of the top dance schools on Staten Island by readers in our Best of Staten Island 2022 poll. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

FYI: Center Stage Dance Studio recently expanded into a freshly renovated studio next door to the old one. The former space is currently undergoing a bit of construction, but Dalli expects to reopen that portion in the coming months. Dalli also added updates on summer programs, and the studio’s fall schedule will be available soon on the studio website.

To watch our Facebook Live at Center Stage Dance Studio, click here.

2. Star Struck Dance, 4858 Arthur Kill Road, Richmond Valley (718-948-0593, starstruckdanceny.com, @starstruckdanceny on Instagram)

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Star Struck Dance in Richmond Valley, headed by Gail Willadsen-Criscione, was named by readers as one of the top dance schools on Staten Island. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)

What do you get when you combine a little charisma, deep passion and some hard work? An award-winning dance studio that shows no signs of slowing down. Deep in the South Shore of Staten Island, Gail Willadsen-Criscione and her team at Star Struck Dance are churning out incredible dance routine after incredible dance routine — but, even more importantly, they’re cultivating enthusiastic 4- to 18-year-olds to take on life outside the studio, empowering them with poise and a sense of self-respect.

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Star Struck Dance in Richmond Valley, headed by Gail Willadsen-Criscione, was named by readers as one of the top dance schools on Staten Island as part of our Best of Staten Island 2022 series. Here is Willadsen-Criscione with daughter/dancer Peyton. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)

Because for Willadsen-Criscione, winning isn’t everything; it’s about setting a great example for her dancers to follow. ”Ninety percent of dance isn’t about the performance at the end [or] where your career takes you,” said Willadsen-Criscione. “It’s about building better human beings, better children, [building] confidence … building a passion, building a self-worth, that’s what we’re teaching them here. We want them to be confident when they go out into the world.”

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Star Struck Dance in Richmond Valley, headed by Gail Willadsen-Criscione, was named by readers as one of the top dance schools on Staten Island. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)

That being said, Star Struck Dance has been on a hot streak since its inception over 30 years ago. Don’t believe us? Just check out the massive number of competition trophies by the front door. The Richmond Valley-based studio has competed all over the United States, and runs the gamut when it comes to the styles of dance students perform.

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Star Struck Dance in Richmond Valley, headed by Gail Willadsen-Criscione, was named by readers as one of the top dance schools on Staten Island. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)

Tight-knit dancers weave acrobatic moves with fun, inspiring choreography that would get anyone hyped up. Give one of them a compliment on their impressive work, however, and they’re quick to turn it around and heap praises on their dancemates.

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Star Struck Dance in Richmond Valley, headed by Gail Willadsen-Criscione, was named by readers as one of the top dance schools on Staten Island. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)

That’s just the team mindset Willadsen-Criscione has reared in the boys and girls she’s so loyal to setting up for success. Willadsen-Criscione has an overwhelming sense of pride in what she does, what the studio stands for and how dancers carry themselves. It’s no wonder why her students adore her.

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Star Struck Dance in Richmond Valley, headed by Gail Willadsen-Criscione, was named by readers as one of the top dance schools on Staten Island. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)

FYI: All instructors at Star Struck Dance are born and bred from the studio, another nod to just how much people believe in the work Willadsen-Criscione is doing.

To watch our Facebook Live at Star Struck Dance Studio, click here.

3. Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio, 5 New Dorp Plaza, New Dorp (718-979-1900, mrsrosemarys.com, @mrsrosemarys on Instagram)

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Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio — run by sisters and co-owners Luanne Sorrentino and Roe Hillers — has been a staple in the dance community for over six decades. It was voted one of the top dance schools in the borough as part of our Best of Staten Island 2022 series. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio is a Staten Island institution, and sisters Luanne Sorrentino, Roe Hillers and Doreen Cugno have carried the studio’s legacy with pride. Their mother, original studio owner and namesake of the New Dorp gem, started the business in 1959 — and it has flourished since.

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Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio — run by sisters and co-owners Luanne Sorrentino and Roe Hillers — has been a staple in the dance community for over six decades. It was voted one of the top dance schools in the borough as part of our Best of Staten Island 2022 series. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

“It’s 63 years strong,” said Sorrentino, adding the non-competitive school teaches strong technique and terminology while giving students plenty of performance opportunities without the pressure of competition. “We build strong, polished, technical dancers, whether they go on to big things in the dance world or the entertainment industry … they get self-confidence and self-esteem with us.”

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Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio — run by sisters and co-owners Luanne Sorrentino and Roe Hillers — has been a staple in the dance community for over six decades. It was voted one of the top dance schools in the borough as part of our Best of Staten Island 2022 series. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

Sorrentino, Hillers and Cugno — who also run the historic St. George Theatre together — aim to foster long-lasting relationships, create a trusting community with their dancers and gift life lessons to each of their students. Given there are some second- and third-generation dancers who attend the school, we’d say they’re doing a good job reaching what they set out to achieve.

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Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio — run by sisters and co-owners Luanne Sorrentino and Roe Hillers — has been a staple in the dance community for over six decades. It was voted one of the top dance schools in the borough as part of our Best of Staten Island 2022 series. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

The dancers, too, are as bright and cheery as the beautiful costumes that adorn the walls of the studio, and all jump at the opportunity to sing praises of a place that inspires them to be the best versions of themselves.

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Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio — run by sisters and co-owners Luanne Sorrentino and Roe Hillers — has been a staple in the dance community for over six decades. It was voted one of the top dance schools in the borough as part of our Best of Staten Island 2022 series. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

“It’s a happy place,” said Sorrentino. “Everything under this roof is positive vibes, a lot of love, and just good, positive energy.”

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Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio — run by sisters and co-owners Luanne Sorrentino and Roe Hillers — has been a staple in the dance community for over six decades. It was voted one of the top dance schools in the borough as part of our Best of Staten Island 2022 series. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

Students agree, and revel in having instructors who “always have faith” in them to succeed on every level. “We are one big dancing family,” said Sorrentino. “Everybody leaves here feeling so good about themselves … there’s no nonsense, no drama under this roof. Pure dance, pure love.”

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Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio — run by sisters and co-owners Luanne Sorrentino and Roe Hillers — has been a staple in the dance community for over six decades. It was voted one of the top dance schools in the borough as part of our Best of Staten Island 2022 series. (Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lovallo)(Staten Island Advance/Lauren Lo

FYI: Pre-registration is in June; give them a call so that you guarantee your spot. The studio separates classes by age and level, so dancers will always have the perfect proper fit. Mrs. Rosemary’s also livestreams every class so that no one has to miss out.

To watch our Facebook Live at Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio, click here.

THE NOMINEES

While only the top three dance schools were highlighted, we still want to shine a light on the 34 other studios that were nominated. They may not have cracked the top three this year, but they are still beloved across our borough. Here they are, broken down by community:

ANNADALE

Miss Caroline’s Dance Elite, 32 Jefferson Blvd., https://danceelite.org/, @misscarolinesdanceelite on Instagram

CASTLETON CORNER

Great Expectations Dance Center, 1754 Victory Blvd., 718-447-8377, dancegr8exp.com, @greatexpectationsdance on Instagram

CHARLESTON

Dance Factory, 505 Sharrotts Road, 718-689-0019, dfgnyc.com

Fierce Dance Company, 654 Sharrotts Road, 718-317-5777, fiercedancecompanyny.com

CONCORD

Miss Jessica’s JAMZ Studio of Dance, 1071 Targee St., 347-466-4113, https://missjessicasjamz.com/, @missjessicasjamz on Instagram

DONGAN HILLS

Bedazzle Dance Studio Inc., 1467 Hylan Blvd., 718-980-0189, bedazzledance.com, @bedazzledance on Instagram

Brandy’s Dance Unique, 1693 Hylan Blvd., 718-987-5553, @officialbdu on Instagram

Exposure Dance Studio, 1434 Richmond Road, exposuredancestudio.com, 718-979-2153

ELTINGVILLE

All Out Dance Staten Island, 4215 Hylan Blvd., 718-554-4484, alloutdanceny.com, @alloutdanceny on Instagram

South Shore Dance, 3829 Richmond Ave., 718-317-5829, @southshoredancesi on Instagram

GRANT CITY

Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 2239 Hylan Blvd., 718-979-2144, fredastaire.com/staten-island-central, @fredastaire_statenisland on Instagram

Studio 11 Dance Company, 95 Lincoln Ave., 718-980-0350, https://www.studio11dancecompany.com/, @studio11_dance on Instagram

GREAT KILLS

Dance Sensations Dance Studio, 3999 Hylan Blvd., 718-967-1797, dancesensationsstudio.com, @dancesensations_si on Instagram

Move Me Dance & Fitness Studio, 4 Giffords Lane, 718-605-6683, movemedancenfitness.com

LIVINGSTON

Lydia’s School of Dance, 1000 Richmond Terr., Building G, lydiasdance.com

MEIERS CORNERS

Rhythm Central Dance Center, 1869 Victory Blvd., 718-668-1030, rcdcstudio.com, @rcdcstudio on Instagram

NEW BRIGHTON

MCDC-Miss Cheryl’s Dance Company, 140 Prospect St., 917-831-8035, misscherylsdancecompany.com, @mcdc_16 on Instagram

NEW DORP

Dance Xpress, 267 New Dorp Lane, 718-979-4067, dancexpresssi.com, @dance_xpress on Instagram

NEW SPRINGVILLE

The Studio Dancers, 454 Nome Ave., 917-525-9724, @thestudiodancer on Instagram

OAKWOOD

Moving in Time Dance Studio, 95 Guyon Ave., 917-476-6759

PLEASANT PLAINS

Xtreme Dance Studio, 6322 Amboy Road, 718-967-9565, xdssiny.com, @xtremedancestudiosiny on Instagram

PORT RICHMOND

Evolution Dance Company, 16A Barrett Ave., 718-816-9707

New York Dance Company, 490 Port Richmond Ave., 718-720-1106

RICHMOND VALLEY

Staten Island Dance and Art Center, 26 Richmond Valley Road, 718-356-3760, sidanceandartscenter.com,

ROSSVILLE

Impact Dance Studio, 51 Winant Pl., 718-227-8400, impactdanceinc.com, @impactdanceny on Instagram

Rise Dance Studios, 1 Gunton Pl., 718-966-7473, risedancestudios.com, @risedancestudios on Instagram

SOUTH BEACH

Dance Electra, 8 Mallory Ave., 718-273-9598

TOTTENVILLE

Dancer’s Den NYC, 140 Main St., 718-489-0235, dancersdennyc.com

Dream Studio for the Performing Arts, 7315 Amboy Road, 718-966-0096, @dream_studio_si on Instagram

L.A. Dance NY, 24 Ellis St., 718-967-9723, ladanceny.com, @l.a.danceny on Instagram

TRAVIS

Dynamic Dance, 535 Wild Ave., 718-477-4897, dynamicdanceny.com, @dynamicdanceny on Instagram

Melissa’s Dance Workshop, 3785 Victory Blvd., 718-477-1329

WESTERLEIGH

Miss Theresa’s Danceland, 264 Watchogue Road, 718-494-4492, @miss_theresas_danceland on Instagram

WEST BRIGHTON

Dance Dance Dance Ltd., 1212 Forest Ave., 718-981-8869, dancedancedanceltd.org, @dkdanceltd on Instagram