A wave is washing up in South Walton — a dance wave, that is.
Santa Rosa Beach resident Andrea Alfieri started 30A Dancewave to teach young dancers jazz and modern techniques with an underlying vein of classic ballet.
“I’d like to teach them to be very versatile dancers,” said Alfieri. “I am a true believer in dance versatility, but strong classical ballet training is extremely important and is our base.”
Since moving to the area two years ago, Alfieri, a lifelong dancer, singer and performer, has been successful in starting the dance program for girls of all ages at The Studio in Seaside.
The instructor started the company in August 2010 with 18 students, and just more than two years later that number has grown to 45 students, who range in ages from 2 to 14.
If you’ve attended the Flutterby Festival, The South Walton holiday parade, or a show at the Seaside Repertory Theater, you’ve seen the 30A Dancewave.
The girls also performed at ArtsQuest and were bedecked in costumes indicative of the ocean and sun. Appropriately, the theme was “Ride the 30A Dancewave.”
“The children of 30A Dancewave present the joy of dance with kid-friendly, family style mini-productions. Our themes are always beach-based, full of sun and fun,” said Alfieri.
The company has performed at many other local events, including most recently the South Walton holiday parade and opening for The Seaside Repertory Theatre’s “Every Christmas Story Ever Told … And then Some.”
She says no matter where the girls perform, they present themselves in a way that is entertaining and fun to watch.
Choreographing interesting dances comes naturally to Alfieri, whose background is firmly rooted in musical theater and dance. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater and jazz from the Philadelphia University of the Arts, College of Performing Arts. Alfieri had a varied career, which included work with the Pennsylvania Ballet and performing with dinner theater companies on cruise ships.
Though she started dancing as a ballerina, Alfieri said, “All of a sudden I was a jazz dancer.”
Alfieri has been visiting the area with her family since the 1970s, and decided she would take the plunge and bring her style of dance to the area. Alfieri lived in New Jersey before moving to the area in January 2010 to join her parents, who moved to the Emerald Coast permanently in 2002.
She decided to start the dance company to give an after school dance outlet to South Walton girls.
The name “Dancewave” comes from one of Alfieri’s projects, a Japanese dance production of Dancewave ’91, with choreography inspired by oceanography.
“We used to joke about it because I was such a beach bum,” said Alfieri, laughing.
And now that wave has made it to 30A.
Alfieri has 30A Dancewave classes for students 14 years old to as young as 2. The youngest students participate in “Itty Bitty Ballet,” a mom and child dance class.
30A Dancewave meet Tuesdays, 2:30 to 4 p.m. Those with the senior company meet Wednesdays 3 to 4:30 p.m. The junior group meets Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Other classes include advance competition jazz technique Monday, 3 to 4:15 p.m., for ages 10 to adult and ballet I 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. beginning Jan. 7. Thursdays are for jazz/hip hop, 4 to 5 p.m., and Zumba classes are Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.
For more information, visit 30ADancewave.com or Like 30A Dancewave on Facebook. Drop-ins are welcome to the classes held at The Studio in Seaside, 27 Quincy Circle.