Orlando boasts an eclectic variety of cultural events, performance troupes and arts centers. Theater groups, museums and local attractions offer something to suit everyone. For those looking to learn for themselves, there are numerous music and dance schools, as well as art and acting studios that can teach students the skills they need to become true artists. Southwest Orlando Bulletin’s 10th annual The Arts segment offers an up-close look at some of the area’s most popular venues, groups and experienced schools.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio
Arthur Murray Dance Studio, located at 6700 Conroy-Windermere Road in Orlando, welcomes new and advanced students alike. Under the inventive direction of Emily Bergman and Kimberley Carroll, the school offers dance instruction for singles and couples age 21 and older in all styles of ballroom dancing. Classes are Monday-Friday, with flexible times in the afternoons and evenings. The studio is involved in ongoing dance festivals as well as competitions throughout the year. For more information or to schedule a complimentary lesson, call 407-290-5441 or visit arthurmurrayorlando.com on the Web.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Located at 445 N. Park Ave. in Winter Park, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. New exhibitions in 2014-15 include a major new installation of late 19th- and early 20th-century windows; selections from a recent gift of American and European decorative art; and a display of 1905 wedding gifts to Charles Hosmer Morse’s daughter,
Elizabeth Owens Morse. For more information, call 407-645-5311 or visit
http://www.morsemuseum.org on the Web.
Elite Animation Academy
Elite Animation Academy, http://www.eliteanimationacademy.com, offers traditional and digital-art animation programs for adults and children age 10-older. The facility is located at 8933 Conroy-Windermere Road in Orlando and instructed by former Disney/Marvel and industry professionals who have more than 50 years of combined animation experience. Classes include 2-D and 3-D animation, anime/manga, After Effects, Photoshop, drawing fundamentals and more. For more information or a free studio tour, call 407-459-7959.
Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance
Elizabeth Parsons School of Dance, located at 116 W. Sixth Ave. in Windermere, is now registering students for its 34th dance season. Under the artistic direction of Elizabeth Parsons, the school offers dance instruction for all ages in classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern, acro, lyrical and hip-hop. Classes are limited and begin Aug. 11. In addition, the school presents its annual Evening of Dance at Lake Eola on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 407-876-4604 or visit http://www.elizabethparsonsschoolofdance.com on the Web.
Footworks Dance Studio
Footworks Dance Studio in Winter Garden starts its 12th dance season this fall, with a terrific schedule lined up for its dancers. The studio’s priority continues to be providing the best dance instruction to its students, as well as developing the character of each and every dancer. Fall registration dates are through Aug. 8 from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m., and Aug. 11-13 from 4-7 p.m. For more information, call 407-877-2260 or visit http://www.footworksdancestudio.com on the Web.
Located in the heart of historic downtown Winter Garden at 160 W. Plant Street, the Garden Theatre is a not-for-profit organization committed to enriching, engaging and entertaining through creative experiences. The 299-seat theater, which reopened in 2008, is a historic, atmospheric, professional performing-arts venue in a Mediterranean Revival style. The Garden Theatre hosts live plays, concerts, movies, dances and more to the residents of and visitors to the city of Winter Garden. For more information, call 407-877-4736 or visit http://www.gardentheatre.org on the Web.
In the Limelight
In the Limelight, located at 4065-D LB McLeod Road in Orlando, 407-340-0920, http://www.inthelimelightorlando.com, is a theatrical production company and performing-arts studio for young people in grades preschool-12. The “triple threat” training facility offers onstage and on-camera acting, dance, voice and piano classes for beginners-advanced performers. Fall and spring production auditions are Aug. 16 and Jan. 10. Upcoming performances include Disney’s 101 Dalmatians from Nov. 7-9; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from Nov. 20-23; The Wizard of Oz from Dec. 4-7; It’s a Wonderful Life from Dec. 18-21; and more. Tickets are $10. For more information or to schedule an audition, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just Dance Studios
Just Dance Studios is located in Suite 103 at 5911 Turkey Lake Road in Orlando. The state-of-the-art studio boasts professional-grade sprung wood floors with Marley overlay. Classes are offered at all levels for students age 2 through adults, and include ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, musical theater, hip-hop and boy’s hip-hop. Just Dance Studios provides proper dance training by highly qualified staff members who inspire dedication, teamwork and discipline in a positive and rewarding environment. For more information, call 407-730-9845 or visit http://www.justdancestudios.info on the Web.
The Maile Image, Modeling & Acting School
Since 1982, The Maile Image, Modeling & Acting School at 999 S. Orlando Ave. in Winter Park has offered classes in image and confidence; on-camera acting; and modeling for children, teens and adults. The school offers a free professional industry seminar about breaking into the business, which covers head shots, agents, booking jobs, auditions, contracts, avoiding being taken advantage of, and more. It also offers workshops about etiquette and manners for children and teens. This month, the school presents a back-to-school fashion show Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. at Seminole Towne Center. It also seeks contestants for its annual Showcase Your Talent singing competition. For more information, call 407-628-5989 or visit http://www.lisamaile.com on the Web.
N.Y.C. Dance is located at 328 Moore Road in Ocoee. Its professionally trained teachers focus on making the dance-training experience fun and memorable. The facility offers well-rounded programs for all levels, with competitive- and noncompetitive-level classes available in tap, jazz, ballet, acro, hip-hop, baby hip-hop, lyrical, musical theater, street tap and contemporary. Additionally, the facility offers Mommy & Me & Saturday dance classes for boys and girls age 14 months-adult. For more information, call 407-905-0107 or visit http://www.nycdancecompany.com on the Web.
St. Luke’s School of the Arts
St. Luke’s School of the Arts, located at 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road in Orlando, offers a convenient location for a variety of fine-arts classes for all ages. Courses include quality instruction in art, photography, dance, theater, music, creative writing and more, in a nurturing, nonjudgmental environment. At the School of the Arts, students’ creativity and talents blossom and grow. The school employs a professional staff and offers affordable classes. For more information, call 407-876-5226 or visit http://www.st.lukes.org/soa on the Web.
Theatre South Orlando
Theatre South Orlando, located in Dr. Phillips at 11184 S. Apopka-Vineland Road inside the Jewish Community Center of Southwest Orlando at the Jack & Lee Rosen Campus, offers classes, workshops, youth musical productions and professional products for age 3-adults. Upcoming youth and professional performances include Spellbound, a tribute to Pippin, Matilda, The Phantom of the Opera, Romance Romance and Once Upon a Brunch. Theatre South’s Princess Encounters bring the magic of the movies and Broadway to your next party or event. Theatre South offers weekday and weekend workshops; classes; and private lessons in voice, piano, acting and dance. For more information, call 407-489-4458 or visit http://www.theatresouthorlando.com on the Web.
Watters School of Irish Dancing
Students learn the art of traditional Irish step dance at Watters School of Irish Dancing, located at 415 N. Clarke Road in Ocoee, from Dublin-born Myra Watters, the principal teacher and a former dancer with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. The school accepts beginners from age 5-older and offers a range of classes to suit any schedule. Students can participate in shows, recitals and fun cultural workshops, and compete at the highest level or just dance recreationally. For more information, call 407-929-7570 or visit http://www.wattersschool.com on the Web.