Our Heart & Soul

You are warmly invited to bring your dancing dreams alive with our compassionate faculty, comprised of former dance professionals and certified instructors, often joined by our shining student mentors. We are committed to giving each student careful, personalized attention, for proven individual progress. The joy we gain from seeing so many of our graduates continue dancing with companies and leading university dance programs is indescribable! We believe in providing the highest quality in class offerings; the best value for your investment in your most precious family member: your child. We encourage aspiring dancers to exceed their own artistic dreams, ignited in the tender landscape of childhood. Home to more than 300 registered students from the Black Hills, Western Wyoming and Central South Dakota, the Academy of Dance Arts is the local benchmark for compassionate excellence in dance education.

We offer a full range of classes designed to bring your dancing dreams alive, including...

Early Childhood Program for Ages 3-7

  • Classical Ballet for six levels (Cecchetti, Vaganova, Bournonville and Balanchine)
  • Pointe & Variations
  • Boys, Men/Partnering
  • Tap (rhythm tap and broadway)
  • Jazz (classical and theatrical)
  • Contemporary
  • Modern
  • Hip Hop
  • Private instruction available by appointment

Our Inspiration

Rapid City Chamber of Commerce 2015 Rushmore Award Recipient for Artistic Contributions to Community

Our artistic director, Julie McFarland, wanted to create a dance education experience to make a difference in the lives of aspiring young dancers, back here at home. Having trained professionally with classical icons in Cecchetti, Bournonville and Balanchine techniques, her career included a collection of choreographers, mentors and guides who were brilliant pioneers in their field. Julie's University training in Child Psychology led her to expand and develop safe, whole-child teaching methodologies, both respectful and relevant to every student.

Based on the assumption that we all want to strive for a personal best, the Academy of Dance Arts has adopted an attitude of encouragement and compassion towards excellence, unlike any training in the region. For our youngest dancers, our curriculum has been developed in conjunction with National Dance Education Core Standards for age-appropriate learning.

Immediate results can be seen in our burgeoning local dance community, along with Academy soloists and principal dancers in Black Hills Dance Theatres' biennial Nutcracker productions. Our Academy of Dance Arts graduates include currently performing professionals, University and preprofessional scholarship recipients and former instructors who developed under our tutelage to open their own fledgeling studios.

Our Proud Partnerships and Affilations