Emphasizing form and the beauty of the art of dance, Tucson Dance Academy has built a reputation for producing hard working and technically sound dancers.

Owners Tom and Tammy Booth started the academy five years ago after taking over Gotta Dance Dance Academy and then renaming it Tucson Dance Academy.

Tammy has years of experience dancing for professional companies, television shows, videos and concerts as well as at one time being an Olympic gymnast. She’s taught dance for the past 30 years, beginning at Tempe Dance Academy and then eventually moving to Tucson where she opened her own studio.

Tempe Dance Academy is one of the top dance studios in the U.S. and is owned by Tammy’s mother, Wanda Manville.

Tom takes part in ownership of Tucson Dance Academy, but primarily focuses on running the Tucson Dance Foundation, which is separate from the academy. The foundation raises money to help their dancers afford traveling and competition costs.

The Booths’ number of dancers has grown from 240 to 400 since opening. The academy offers ballet, jazz, tap, acro, hip-hop, break dancing, musical theater and baby combo. Classes are open for ages 3 to adult, and are for those who have no dance experience to those who have a lot. Tucson Dance  Academy highly focuses on perfect form and dance techniques.

“We embrace technique and train them properly so they’ll leave being better and more wholesomeness,” said Tammy. “Parents can never be upset with what they wear as costumes or how they dance and the music we use. They can always rest assured that they can trust us. We’re just a caring, loving family.”

Two weeks ago, dancers from Tucson Dance Academy competed in Phoenix against some of the best dancers in Arizona. They competed in three out of the four categories, which were mini, junior and teen dance. The competition ended with them beating eight other dance studios and winning the Critics Choice Award in all three categories, which is the top award.

“Anywhere we go we usually win some sort of award,” said Tammy. “They’re just doing great and they’re being recognized by all these top choreographers and teachers. For teachers to take notice though, you have to be technically strong and our kids are.”

Not only does Tucson Dance Academy emphasize technique, but also just as importantly, there is an emphasis on hard work and humility, according to Tammy.

With state competition now behind them, 31 of the academy’s dancers will fly to New York City to compete in nationals between June 29 and July 7.

The Booths’ hope is that their dancers will take what they’ve learned and apply it as they compete against top dancers in the country.

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