YMCA Dance Academy

The Y offers dance classes to children ages 2 - 18 through its award-winning YMCA Dance Academy (YDA).

Over the past two decades, numerous studies have affirmed the benefits of the arts on the cognitive, academic, social, and personal development of children and youth.

All of our dancers participate in our annual performance, BRAVO, at the Mahaffey Theatre in June to display their talents for friends and family.

 

Offerings

Creating a Safe Environment

  • Special COVID-19 training for teachers and staff on health and safety procedures and guidelines
  • Limited class sizes to reduce the number of dancers in the studio at the same time
  • Studios mapped out so dancers remain 6 feet apart
  • Masks required in common areas of the YMCA, including for dancers and teachers during class time
  • Hand sanitizer used before and after class

 

Classes

Y Dance Academy offers classes for various ages and skill levels in the genres of ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. There are also technique-only classes for ballet; stretch and tumble (acro); leaps and turns; and core strength.

For a complete listing of classes, descriptions, age and skill level needed for each, please download and review our handbook.

2020-2021 YDA Handbook (.PDF)

 

YDA Competition Team

The YDA Competition team is a multi-award-winning competitive team for students who desire to take their dance training to the highest level. Team members attend four regional competitions, one dance convention, as well as have the opportunity to attend national and world dance competitions. Team members are placed in their own classes to ensure proper training and technique. To become a member of the team, dancers must audition and be between the ages of 5 - 18. Compete and achieve goals that will pave the way for your future!

 

Contact Us

For questions about the YMCA Dance Academy, or if you are interested in auditioning for the competition team, please contact ydanceacademy@stpeteymca.org.

 

Dance Styles

Click each style to see an expanded description.

Ballet

YDA is proud to include the AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE® National Training Curriculum, a breakthrough 9-level program that combines high quality artistic training with the basics of dancer health and child development. The ABT® National Training Curriculum consists of a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines to provide the highest quality ballet training to dance students of all ages and skill levels. Pre-Primary through Level 3 will be taught by ABT® Certified Teacher, Kelly Homman.

American Ballet Theatre

Tap
Tap dance is a type of dance characterized by using the sounds of tap shoes striking the floor as a form of percussion. The sound is made by shoes that have a metal "tap" on the heel and toe. There are several styles of tap dance, including rhythm (jazz), classical, Broadway, and post-modern. Tap teaches rhythm, coordination and terminology through tap combinations and choreography.
Jazz
Jazz dance combines techniques of classical ballet and modern dance with the current forms of popular dance. Jazz also has its own movement vocabulary ranging from the isolation of certain body parts to the movement of the entire body with the accents of musical rhythms. Various styles of jazz will be taught such as Broadway, street style, and contemporary jazz.
Contemporary
Contemporary dance emphasizes interpretation of music lyrics while telling a story with movement that is fluid or abstract. Contemporary dance has a modern foundation with grounded movements and abstract shapes. Must take ballet to register for contemporary.
Hip-Hop
Hip-hop dance refers to street dance styles primarily performed to hip-hop music or that have evolved as part of hip-hop culture. Hip-hop is a high energy class that includes a wide range of styles primarily breaking, locking, popping, and the latest styles on music videos.
Tumbling
YDA is a certified Acrobatic Arts studio. The program is based on safe and effective progressions with proven results in five divisions of AccorDance: Flexibility, Strength, Balancing, Limbering, and Tumbling. Tumbling classes will work the basics to the advanced levels of acrobatics. Our teachers will guide the students towards increased flexibility, balance, strength, muscle control and tumbling skills such as cartwheels, walkovers, aerials and handsprings.
Aerial Silk for ages 10 & Up
Aerial silk classes offer participants the opportunity to improve strength and flexibility while learning the art of aerial dance. Learn More

 

Costs & Registration

Costs below indicate monthly fees. Tuition is based on 40 weeks per year, and is broken down into 10 monthly installments due the first of each month.

Youth Classes

  Non-Members Members
Terrific Twos $39 $26
1 Class Per Week $60 $50
2 Classes Per Week $110 $80
3 Classes Per Week $152 $125
4 Classes Per Week $189 $159
Unlimited Classes Per Week $225 $179

Private Lessons

  Non-Members & Members
30-Minute Lesson $25
60-Minute Lesson $50

Adult Classes

Package includes 4 class cards that may be used for any adult classes.

  Non-Members Members
4 Class Cards $60 $39

How to Register

To register, download our registration form, complete, and return to the Member Services Desk at Jim & Heather Gills YMCA. Brittany Staub, Assistant Dance Director, will send you an email confirmation upon receipt. Payment for the first month will be taken at the time registration is processed.

Registration Form (.PDF)

Payment is made through our autopay system. Cancellations must be made 7 days prior to draft date; No refunds after the draft has been taken. All dance fees must be paid in order to perform in our BRAVO performance.

Please email us with any billing or membership changes.

 

YDA Staff

Click each instructor's photo to read their biography.

 
YMCA Dance Academy Instructor

Kelly Homman

Director

Kelly Homman

Kelly Homman, YDA Director, studied ballet, jazz and lyrical dance with Rose Marie Dickman and BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio. She was in charge of the pre-professional through young dancers for all of BalletMet’s productions. In 1997, she established the Y Dance Academy of Ohio, a community-based dance academy serving more than 250 dancers. Kelly has choreographed and directed numerous dance productions including Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and Peter Pan. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts with emphasis in dance studies from Bowling Green University, where she was a member of the dance ensemble and head choreographer. After moving to Florida, Kelly became a dance adjunct for Pinellas County Schools and began the Y Dance Academy at the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg in 2007. She has received certification in all levels of ballet through the Cecchetti Council of America, a professional ballet organization for teachers. Kelly is also certified in the American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum. Kelly’s students have gone on to perform with the Rockettes, the Joffrey Ballet and many receive full college dance scholarships. Under Kelly’s leadership, the YDA competition team has been awarded the highest honors at regional competitions and has won first place overall at national competitions.

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YMCA Dance Academy Instructor

Brittany Staub

Assistant Director

Brittany Staub

Brittany Staub, YDA Assistant Director, has been dancing since age 3 and competing since age 7. Brittany, who grew up in the St. Louis, Missouri, metropolitan area, has learned from award-winning choreographers including Mia Michaels, Mike Minery and Brian Friedman as well as master classes from the Radio City Rockettes, Broadway Dance Center and the Joffrey Ballet. Brittany has won competitions both regionally and nationally for dance, routines and choreography. She has performed in many productions including 42nd Street with the St. Louis Municipal Theater, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Acrobats of China, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and as a Westfield Merry Maker through RWS & Associates Entertainment, Inc. Since age 15, Brittany has taught all ages, levels and styles of dance. In addition to her work with YDA, Brittany is currently the adjunct dance instructor at Perkins Elementary, teaching all styles of dance.

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YMCA Dance Academy Instructor

Amber Austin

Instructor

Amber Austin

Amber began dancing at the age of 2 with Betty Lyn Dance Studios in Seminole Florida. In 1989 at the age of 3 she then began dancing with Susan Hartley at Dancemoves Studio in Seminole, Florida. She danced all styles of dance such as tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, high-steppers, EXCLAMATION, pointe, acrobatics, contemporary as well as did musical theatre while dancing with Susan. In 2015-2016 she taught dance for Creative Movement and Dance Company with Abigail Smith. Here she taught at various elementary schools and preschools teaching tap, ballet and hip-hop to students after school. Amber has also been a dance teacher at VIBE dance studio with Elizabeth Hartley and Jessica Anderson in 2017-2018, teaching tap, ballet, hip-hop and lyrical. She began teaching at YMCA Dance Academy in 2018, teaching tap, ballet and Jazz.

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YMCA Dance Academy Instructor

Katie Brinson

Instructor

Katie Brinson

Katie has taught with us since 2012, and helped develop our Young Dancer Program. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts management and dance from the University of Richmond, where she was a member of the University Dancers. A Saint Petersburg native, Katie studied ballet, jazz, and modern at various studios in the area.

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YMCA Dance Academy Instructor

Tyna Papillon

Instructor

Tyna Papillon

Tyna Papillon has been a dancer and gymnast since the age of 6. She majored in dance at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm beach, Florida; trained in modern dance at Laban Conservatoire in London, England; and holds a Bachelor in Social Studies Education from the University of South Florida. She has performed with Miami City Ballet, Ballet Florida, and Tampa Bay Ballet.

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YMCA Dance Academy Instructor

Ivette Lopez

Instructor

Ivette Lopez

Ivette Lopez has been dancing for 23 years. Specializing in jazz funk, contemporary, hip-hop, heels and Latin dance styles. She has received numerous awards and scholarships through out her years in competitive dance. At a young age, she was honored to receive a summer intensive scholarship to Los Angeles to work with some of the world's iconic choreographers of all time, such as Travis Payne, Vince Paterson, Brian Friedman, and many more. Ivette was the founder of the Osceola High school dance team and after graduation was a performer for Disney World Resort in Orlando. Throughout her college years, she was a member of the CoMotion Dance Company for St Petersburg College. She continued to perform up to 2016 with Cheer Girl Entertainment, as well as choreograph for a variety of different dance groups with the company. In Summer 2019 Mrs Lopez was selected to showcase at Show Stoppers Miami, where her choreography debut alongside some of todays biggest choreographers, within the Latin artist industry.

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YMCA Dance Academy Instructor

Dakota Kuharich

Instructor

Dakota Kuharich

Dakota Kuharich (BA) is a performer, instructor, and creator in the Tampa Bay Area. Originally from Litchfield, CT, Dakota attended the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts where she spent her four years of high school as a Musical Theater major studying acting, voice, and all styles of dance. Dakota is a graduate from the University of Tampa where she was able to explore her passion for movement as an Applied Dance Major through performance and Brain Compatible Dance Education. She has been given multiple opportunities to choreograph and perform for the University of Tampa’s Dance Program and Theater Program. Dakota is a certified BarreAbove instructor, Arena Football League (AFL) Dancer for the Tampa Bay Tornadoes, and currently teaches dance at The Y Dance Academy in St. Petersburg, FL. Dakota has been honored to work with local dance company, projectALCHEMY (St. Petersburg, FL), and professional choreographers Jon Lehrer, Bill Evans, and Amanda Kay White.

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YMCA Dance Academy Instructor

Sally Zeh

Instructor

Sally Zeh

Sally began dancing at age four and continued dancing as a certified dance fitness instructor for 25 years. During her career Sally worked exclusively with youth and families as a social worker and public administrator. For the past 5 years, she renewed her love of dance through the YDA’s adult program and joined the staff last season.

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YMCA Dance Academy Instructor

Nia Dillard

Instructor

Nia Dillard

Ms. Nia is extremely excited to join the YMCA’s dance program and enrich the lives of young children through dance instruction, movement, and exercise. She is a Florida native and graduated from the University of South Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Leadership Studies. She has over nine years of teaching and coaching experience in both dance and gymnastics. Ms. Nia is a former level 10 award-winning competitive gymnast and Junior Olympian.

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History

Launched in 2007, YDA housed in the Jim & Heather Gills YMCA is a national American Ballet Theater® certified school that comprises 65 classes per week including diverse dance styles from ballet, hip-hop, and jazz, encouraging students to pursue various genres. Under the direction of Kelly Homman, this nationally award-winning dance program is dedicated to developing talent at both a recreational and competitive level. The Y implements a specially designed curriculum that enables students to develop advanced dance techniques as they progress through each class level. We focus on terminology and technique, along with a strong foundation in Classical ballet

In fall of 2016, the Y further expanded the YDA through the Young Dancer program offered at the Speer YMCA and Bardmoor YMCA Preschool Academies, enabling the Y to engage 60 children ages 2 - 5 from south St. Petersburg and Bardmoor communities. Annually, YDA serves more than 300 students through the Jim & Heather Gills YMCA and two YMCA Preschool Academies - 45% of which receive scholarship assistance from the Y to participate.