How it all began …
Hi… I’m Melissa Klassen, founder of the Acro Dance Teachers Association. I’ve spent the past 25 years perfecting my craft as an Acro Teacher, and the past 15 years supporting Dance Studio Owners and Teachers around the world – helping them create Acro systems that are lucrative and get amazing results.
That’s why I love what I do. It’s a huge win for YOU and for your students!
But it wasn’t always easy. In the beginning, I didn’t even know what true Acro Dance was.
As a former gymnast with no AcroDance experience, I really had no idea what to expect when my then boss, Mr. Brian Foley, told me he wanted to transform his “Gymnastics Program” into an “Acro Dance Program”.
What did that even mean? Did it mean more focus more on walkovers, aerials, leaps and jumps? Did it mean replacing the tumbling program with a stretching program? Needless to say, I was an amateur and had no idea what I was doing.
But Mr. Foley took me under his wing, and went to great lengths to have me personally mentored by the best in the (Canadian) business. It took me 3 years to cross over from “Gymnastics Coach” to true Acro Dance Teacher – and needless to say I had to play some catch up! I took as many dance classes as I could as a young adult, and immersed myself in the Acro and Dance industry.
In my position with Mr. Foley as “Director of AcroDance” at the world-renowned Performing Arts School “The Young Canadians”, I had the opportunity to develop some key skills that would prove to be very beneficial in my future role as President of the ADTA. Namely, having to achieve skills in the fastest possible way in time for multi-million dollar shows, with a new cast every single year!
Working with boys and girls of all ages, and having to find clever ways to get results faster than one would in a usual studio setting, I developed sharp skills in creating systems to get great results FAST.
When other local studios caught on to what I was doing, they wanted the same Acro systems for their studios too, and a syllabus was born.
I worked with dance Studio Owners one-by-one, helping them create amazing programs that were getting results AND bringing in revenue. At the same time, I was also learning the business side of running a dance studio, and of creating my own business in the process.
Fast forward 15 years – the Acro Dance Teachers Association is now helping:
- Studio Owners expand their businesses,
- Dance Teachers learn how to effectively teach acro, and
- Dancers benefit from the art of Acrobatic Dance.
Join me, and the 10,000+ dance professionals and students around the world that my team and I serve, as we continue our movement: supporting the holistic development of the next generation of dancers.