Looking for dancing lessons from one of the top dance studios in Stamford, CT?

Locust Performing Arts Center of Stamford, CT (LPAC) is a professional dance studio that offers dance classes for ages 3 through adult in Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Modern, Musical Theatre, Creative Movement and Adult Dance with opportunities to perform in studio showcases and an Annual Dance Concert. LPAC also houses several performance companies: Locust Contemporary Dance Works I & II, Locust Preparatory Company, Hip Hop's Finest, Kool Kidz Jr. Hip Hop Troupe, FOCUS Pre-Professional Program (Hip Hop and Tap), Locust Elite Dance (L.E.D.) Competitive Dance Group and Harmony Nation Anti-Bullying Program. Professional dance lessons are available in both group settings as well as private one-on-one instruction. LPAC also offers Party Packages. Are you ready to learn how to dance?  Please contact us or check our schedule for times and availability. Need help finding a class? ASK KELSEY!  

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Photo by Jody Frank

Artistic Director and Owner Jimmy Locust has shared his talents internationally, working with superstars Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Quincy Jones and Debbie Allen.  He has appeared in music videos and films and has performed at the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. Mr. Locust was one of the head choreographers for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and was nominated for an American Choreography Award in 2001 for his work on Warner Brothers’ television show Nikki. Locust worked on the Justin Bieber Tour in 2010 and as choreographer for the CW Television Network’s The Next with hosts John Rich, Joe Jonas, Nelly and Gloria Estefan. Locust has also choreographed commercials for both international and national markets, including Sanyo (Japan) with Nicholas Cage and most recently, Rapid Advance (U.S.) which is currently running. Locally, he has choreographed for the Stamford Symphony's Gala and Curtain Call Theatre as well as numerous high school productions. He also designed and wrote dance education curricula for Domus, Chester-Addison Community Center, Stamford Family YMCA, REACH Prep and Horizons. Locust has been a studio owner, master teacher and choreographer in the Fairfield County area for over ten years. He is Founder and Director of Harmony Nation, an anti-bullying educational program that performs at area schools. He also directs Locust Contemporary Dance Works, a youth company with performances throughout the year culminating in a New York City concert, as well as Hip Hop's Finest and FOCUS Hip Hop pre-professional groups. Locust was appointed by the renowned Boca Ballet Theatre in Florida as a returning faculty member for their summer residency program. Recently, Locust was selected to be an adjudicator (2015) and Artist-in-Residence (2016) for the JCC Maccabi Games Artsfest. Locust’s multi-faceted lifestyle is chronicled his reality show Locust Under 5’.


LPAC STAFF - Photos by Jay Ritter TMR Imagery  - www.tmrimagery.com


Assistant Director Monica Richardson started her training at the age of three. A graduate of New World School of the Arts in Miami, she trained heavily in modern, ballet, and jazz. Monica has performed as a background dancer for Gloria Estefan and danced in music videos for rap artists Ja Rule and Missy Elliott. She has choreographed and danced in several performances for artist Jackie-O and group Take Note, with whom she did the opening number at the Reggae Festival in Miami, featuring such big name artists as Sean Paul. Working abroad as lead dancer for Tokyo Disney Sea, she danced in the show ShowBiz Iz. On the small screen, Monica has performed as a background dancer with recording artist Pitbull on Univision’s Latin Pepsi Smash and with Scarface actor Angel Salazar, dancing in his comedy show Sheck It Out. She has performed with rapper Nelly and country music star John Rich on the CW's The Next. Monica has danced in a national commercial for Rapid Advance and has performed and co- choreographed with choreographer Jimmy Locust for recording artist Arika Kane at New York City’s BB King's.  Currently, Monica continues her dream of performing, choreographing, and teaching master classes throughout the U.S. and has just recently launched an exclusive legging line, Moni Make Your Mark, with unique and colorful patterns that express originality and encourage all individuals to be bold and confident in making their mark to share with the world. 


Executive Office Manager and Marketing Director Mindy Vaccino studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and in Rome, Italy, receiving a degree in Fine Arts. She is a published illustrator, painter, photographer and graphic designer whose work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. In the performing arts, her work in office administration and on theater sets, prop design and performance publications has spanned over 20 years. She has done voice-acting for animation and can also be seen in Rapid Advance's national commercial as "The Doctor."Mindy has been with Locust Performing Arts Center since its inception and has enjoyed both managing the studio and creating posters, logos, signs, photographs and literature for LPAC. In addition to her design work, she has produced both commercial and artistic films for Locust Performing Arts Center which have been showcased at LPAC and Locust Contemporary Dance Works concerts. Mindy has also taught visual arts classes for LPAC, as well as for children's ministries and public school programs.


Production Director, L.E.D. Coordinator and Office Manager Stacy Homicki has been working in dance education and show production for over 20 years. She grew up training in many different styles of dance, performing and competing throughout New England and other parts of the country. Stacy discovered her love of teaching dance, and pursued her training as a teacher, as well as a dancer. She received her BFA in Dance and Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Stacy taught extensively in the Boston area for many years, and she worked in the Performing Arts Department at KING School in Stamford for 9 years. Her experiences have offered her a strong and versatile background in teaching, choreographing, show production, and studio office management. Stacy is so happy to be a part of LPAC, and to be able to watch the love of dance grow in young dancers.


Kool Kidz Director Liana Martinez has studied all types of dance since the age of 11. She trained under Performing Arts Center of Connecticut in Trumbull, dancing at Madison Square Garden for the WNBA, The Joyce Theater and DRA (Dancers Responding to Aids). She also choreographed, performed and taught workshops for Double Up Dance Group. Liana’s industry work has included dancing for Reebok with Jimmy Locust and performing with Kat DeLuna in her Drop it Low music video, on the CW Network's The Next and at B.B. King's with recording artist Arika Kane. Liana has had trained with Dominique Kelly, Pedro Ruiz (Ballet), Denise Vale (Modern: Graham Technique), Kristina Burger (Modern: Horton Technique), Karla Garcia, Manwe Saul Addison, George Jones, Luam, Desmond Richardson (Complexions), Kelly Peters, Karen Festog, Nikole LaChioma, Adam Holmes and Jimmy Locust. Liana was appointed by Jimmy Locust as Assisting Director of Locust Contemporary Dance Works I & II. Her goal is to pass on everything she has learned to her students and to give them an opportunity to grow and excel as dancers.


FOCUS Tap Director Christina Merrill earned her BFA with a focus on Jazz Dance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her extensive training included ballet, modern, and studying tap under the legendary LaVaughn Robinson. After college, she moved to Chicago to study with Jump Rhythm Jazz Project and later became a member of Chicago Tap Theatre, a tap company with strong focus on storytelling and innovation. Highlights include Jazz Dance World Congress at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s tribute to Bill “Bojangles” Robinson choreographed by Lou Conte, a tour of southern France, and sharing the stage with The Polyphonic Spree at Lollapalooza. Christina is also a certified Pilates mat instructor and is looking forward to another year at LPAC!


A Stamford native, Kelsey Emmett trained in various techniques throughout Fairfield County while growing up.  She attended SUNY Buffalo and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Dance.  Shortly after moving to New York City, she spent a year traveling the world and performing on a cruise ship, followed by various performances in NYC including Couture Fashion Week, Young Choreographers Festival, Project Dance, Gotta Dance at The Wild Project, Brooklyn Bowl, Little B's Big Holiday Wish and several Aerial workshops. Kelsey has worked with ALMA NYC, a dance company that incorporates outreach and performance with which she climbed Kilimanjaro to support The Bethel School in Burkina Faso.  Kelsey has taught gymnastics and dance throughout the tri-state area and loves to challenge students to achieve more than they think is possible!


Alyssa Fulmer graduated magna cum laude with a BA in dance from Point Park University. Since graduating, she has been happily teaching all styles of dance to children and young adults at Peridance Capezio Center in New York, as well as LPAC! When not teaching, she can be seen performing with Alyson Laury Dance Co. among other artists. Alyssa is excited to teach her third year at LPAC and continue to pass on her love for dance in a fun, yet educational environment.


Dijon K. Whyte recently graduated Adelphi University receiving his BFA in Dance. He received his most significant dance training in Stamford at Locust Performing Arts Center (LPAC) and Ballet School of Stamford. Dijon was inspired to be a tap dancer, but the more he was exposed to the art, the more he fell in love with different types of movement. Alongside Tap he went on to pursue Jazz, Hip-Hop, Modern, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Salsa, and West African dance. His summers were spent training with the Ballet School of Stamford, USDAN Center for the Creative and Performing Arts and the Martha Graham School. He has also been blessed to work with choreographers such as Jimmy Locust, Monica Richardson, Maurice Curry, Troy Powell and Sheila Barker. Over his career he has been privileged to perform works by David Parsons, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham and Jiri Kylian. He hopes to share his excitement and passion for dance to influence positive growth and development in the LPAC family.


Kristine Bellemare grew up in Northern Connecticut, studying all types of dance from a young age. In 2009, Kristine started teaching, and from that point she realized her goal is to spread her passion for dance, giving her students the opportunity to learn and grow inside and outside of the studio. Kristine's choreography has won numerous awards, and she is also an award-winning and Top Score Award dancer at the Regional and Competitive level. Kristine teaches both recreational and competitive dance, and has a love for both levels. She believes each dancer should be treated individually striving as much as possible.


Kara Malloy is a lifelong resident of Stamford. She has trained and performed throughout the Tri-state area but her true passion is sharing her love of dance with her students. For more than 20 years, Kara has dedicated her life to training dancers of all levels in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical. She has been a member of Dance Educators of America and Dance Masters of America and her choreography has won many competitions throughout the Tri- state area. Above all Kara believes that dance should be fun and accessible to all.


Katelynn Draper is an enthusiastic dancer who has dedicated her life to dance and teaching. Katelynn graduated Summa Cum Laude and received her BFA from New World School of the Arts. She has worked alongside and performed repertoire from world renowned choreographers such as Judith Jamison, Ariel Friedman, Tony Fabre, Kyle Abraham, Patricia Lent, Peter London, Darshan Bhuller, Rennie Harris, and Robert Battle. In 2012 she had the incredible honor to study at the school of Jacob’s Pillow in the Contemporary program, under the direction of Milton Myers.  She has been the recipient of numerous regional and international dance awards including Intrigue’s Young Choreographer’s Award and Christina Aguilera’s Dance Contest on MTV. Katelynn is inspired to be educating the youth on the importance of an active lifestyle through the art of dance.


Ballet Mistress Sharon Clark began dancing in Houston, Texas. At the age of fourteen she was invited to attend high-school on scholarship at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she studied with Melissa Hayden. She then went on to join the Hartford Ballet in Hartford, Connecticut and studied with Truman Finney, who continues to influence her teaching style and philosophy. Finally, she danced with the Boulder Ballet in Boulder, Colorado under the direction of John Prinz. Sharon has performed a variety of corps de ballet and soloist roles, both classical and neo-classical. The design of her class reflects her studies, training, and performing experience in Vaganova, Balanchine, and Danish styles and teaching methods. Her class stresses sound ballet technique, musicality, and, most importantly, enjoying the process, no matter one's ability or experience.  Expression through music, with the body as one's instrument, and ballet as the form, is a perpetual source of joy and meaning for her.


Angelina Bajra has trained in Hip Hop, Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet and Modern dance. She is a graduate of LPAC and was a member of Locust Contemporary Dance Works and Hip Hop's Finest performance groups, under the direction of Jimmy Locust. Angelina was featured in LPAC's Love to Dance commercial and has performed throughout Fairfield County and in New York City. She is excited to be back at LPAC to share her passion for dance with her students!



Office Managers Roxanna Bajra and Elizabeth Martinez

Locust Performing Arts Center of Stamford is rapidly expanding their program to provide a variety of dance classes for recreational and pre-professional dancers.  Tenemos personales que hablan español viernes y sábado.

LPAC serves the students of Greenwich, Norwalk, Fairfield, Westport, New Canaan, Darien and Stamford in Fairfield County, CT as well as Westchester County, NY.  LPAC dance studio is conveniently located near downtown Stamford.

Please email or call us today to arrange a NO-OBLIGATION TRIAL DANCE CLASS with one of our professional instructors.


2770 Summer St. 2nd Floor

Stamford, CT 06905

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