EDA In The News

Elite Dance Academy ready to dance in Peoria
Mother; daughter bring experience

Business: Peoria Republic by Sherry Anne Rubiano — Aug 30, 2006 —

Myrta George passed on the love and art of dance to her daughter, Gia Waxman, at her ballet school in Puerto Rico decades ago. Now, the two are teaming up to share their passion with local parents and children.

The mother-daughter duo is opening a dance studio in Peoria called Elite Dance Academy. The academy will offer ballet, jazz, tap, musical theater, lyrical and hip-hop for children and adults. Classes begin Sept.5.

“My goal is to be able to share our studio…and our love of dance with the community.” Waxman said. Waxman also said that she wanted to open a place where she and her mother could use their dance backgrounds to share with the community. Both bring years or experience as professional dancers, teachers and choreographers locally, nationally and internationally.

George was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She started her dance training at age 5. She studied locally and then at the School of American Ballet, the school for the New York City Ballet, after graduating from high school. During her professional career, she performed with ballet companies in Puerto Rico, New York and London. She later owned ballet schools is Puerto Rico and Phoenix and taught at dance schools in the Valley. She also founded the youth Ballet of Phoenix, a program sponsored by the Library, Parks and Recreation of the city of Phoenix.

Waxman grew up in Puerto Rico and studied under her mother and guest teachers from other ballet companies. She said her mother had a significant influence in her decision to pursue a dance career. “When I was young, she would take me to auditions, Waxman said. “She would back me up. She’s been there, encouraging me.”

Waxman moved to Arizona in 1978. She performed with the Mesa Civic Ballet and later joined Ballet Concerto in Fort Worth, Texas.

Her first dance school was Gia’s Dance Studio in Phoenix, which later developed into the North Phoenix Dance School and Performing Group. Waxman closed the studio, citing a bad location. She said there were too many studios nearby and too much competition.

She continued teaching at dance schools in Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix and decided to try her luck at opening a second studio in north Peoria. This time around, Waxman said she’s confident in the location. “It’s a new area and everything’s going to be growing there,” Waxman said. “We feel it’s going to be a good move for us.”

George is the studio’s president and will handle the business side. She will also teach master classes.

Waxman is the academy’s director and will teach and oversee the school and performing group.

Two of Waxman’s daughters, Christina, 23 and Sabrina, 17 also will teach classes.

“I can’t wait to start teaching again.” Waxman said.