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In 1978, Toni Casson had the vision to provide the community of Portage with the quality of artistic excellence it deserved.  Toni chose the term “Academy” to signify something not seen before in Northwest Indiana … a school for “special” training; a school where technical proficiency and education would soar far beyond the typical dancing school.  That quality remains 45 years later and continues to be passed down from generation to generation.  Children and even grandchildren from that original group of pioneers flock year after year through these doors.  Even co-owner and co-director, Dana Kurzawinski, planted her roots here some 45 years ago, starting as a student and Competition Team member, and working her way up the ranks in the Apprentice Teacher’s Program.  Both directors  are actively involved in all aspects of the business including instruction, management and overseeing all programs at the Academy.  Today, the Academy proudly can say that its entire Teaching Faculty trained from them in the Children’s Department Program and continue to train in all art forms.  It is this personal touch and family-oriented environment that sets Toni’s Dance Academy apart from the pack.​

 Here you are not just a student,


Students of the Academy are encouraged to participate in the annual dance recital performance held in May.  It is truly the highlight of the season and all students are encouraged, but not required to participate.  We choose not to have a Christmas performance so that we may dedicate the first half of the season to learning dance steps and techniques.  By doing so, we feel that the dancers benefit by having time to actually “take class” and learn dance skills instead of just learning choreography all year. 

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