from the director

It has been my dream to own and direct the Academy since I was 12 years old.

Dance has been my life for as long as I can remember, and the Academy of Dance has been like a second home to me. I grew up in Westport and began dance lessons at age three. Soon after, I came to the Academy and quickly found that this was where I belonged. I developed bonds not only with my fellow dancers, but discovered that my relationships with my teachers would become some of the most significant in my life. And when I began to student-teach as a sophomore in high school, I discovered how rewarding it was to pass on my love of dance to others.

Now, because of the women who have come before me as owners and directors of the Academy, I have a rare and wonderful opportunity. Paula Fichtenkort, who had the original vision for the school, was the woman who gave me the opportunity and skills to teach as a teenager. And Mary Ellen Marpe, her successor, welcomed me as a faculty member, then entrusted me with the establishment she had nurtured for over 11 years. Without these two women, I would not be in the position I’m in today - fulfilling a childhood dream.

The strength of the Academy has always been its talented and passionate staff, and I am lucky to be surrounded by such a wonderful group of men and women whose creativity exceeds all expectations. My intention is to uphold Academy traditions, such as our annual production of The Nutcracker, while exposing our students to more contemporary and non-traditional styles in order to create well-rounded and knowledgable dancers.

Throughout my life, people, places, and experiences have come and gone, but at the end of the day I have always been a dancer. It is who I am, and the only thing I have ever wanted to be. I feel incredibly privileged that I am able to do it every day, and am so grateful to the people who have had a hand in putting me here. And I hope that the Academy will always be a place where children can discover and nurture their passion for dance and all the joy that surrounds it.

Nancy Hyland-Zindell

Director, Academy of Dance
2018-2019 class schedule can be downloaded here

2018-2019 registration form can be downloaded here

37th annual Nutcracker tickets can be purchased here

Nutcracker 2018 cast list and rehearsal schedule can be found here

full length movie of our 5th anniversary production of alice can be viewed here 

full length movie of our 36th annual production of the nutcracker can be viewed here