Wissahickon Dance Academy (WDA) was established over 30 years ago as a ballet school by Nancy Malmed, a professionally trained ballet dancer with an MA in Dance from Temple University.
Ballet classes range from pre-ballet through pre-professional and adult; in addition, classes are offered in jazz, tap, hip hop, modern, character and yoga.
The school’s curriculum meets the needs of the casual dancer as well as the dancer on track for a professional career.
WDA’s professional ballet faculty teach the Vaganova method of classical ballet - the method used in the former Soviet Union that produced ballet greats including Nureyev, Makarova, and Baryshnikov. The Vaganova method emphasizes physical strength, flexibility, body placement, and artistic expression.
WDA students have been accepted to prestigious summer programs:
American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Kirov Academy of Ballet, Chatauqua, Juilliard
WDA graduates have danced with professional dance companies:
Joffrey Ballet, Carolina Ballet, Ballet West, Donetsk Ballet, Alvin Ailey II, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Leja Dance Theater, Ballet Met, Boston Ballet II, Martha Graham and on Broadway in " Lion King" "Wicked" and "Cinderella"
WDA graduates have received college scholarships in dance:
New York University, Indiana University, Northwestern University, Fordham University, Oklahoma State University, Temple University, University of Hartford, Mercyhurst College, Marymount College
"The Nutcracker" with the Donetsk Ballet is presented annually by the International Ballet Exchange (IBE), a non-profit organization housed under WDA's roof. IBE gives WDA students the opportunity to perform with a professional ballet company and also provides free ballet classes to schools in the Philadelphia School District in their residency programs. For information about the Nutcracker and IBE, go to www.internationalballet.org
WDA students have study abroad opportunities:
Intermediate and advanced students have studied in Donetsk, Ukraine on three occasions and studied at the National Ballet of Cuba in 2013.