Tacony dance studio celebrates 40 years

The dance studio is celebrating 40 years of recitals.

Forty years of fun: Anna Marie’s Academy of Dance, 7201 Marsden St. in Tacony, celebrated its 40th anniversary this year with a special recital.

Anna Marie’s Academy of Dance had plenty to celebrate at its recent annual recital.

The dance studio, at 7201 Marsden St. in Tacony, has been teaching youngsters for 40 years.

Why the longevity?

“My teachers, and most especially her,” said owner and executive director Anna Marie Pulaski.

Pulaski was pointing to artistic director Paula deSandes Minacci, who has been with the studio since 1982.

Minacci said, for many of the students, the dance lessons are their first experience without their parents.

And for the kids who like it, Minacci said the staff is more than willing to help them improve. Many of the teachers are graduates of the University of the Arts.

“You learn the art of dance here,” she said.

Pulaski, a 1958 St. Hubert High School graduate, opened Anna Marie’s in 1977 with the help of her husband, Bill, and daughter, Elizabeth Ann. The studio was in Bristol for about 18 months, but otherwise has been in Tacony.

In more recent years, the Tacony Community Development Corporation has provided exterior upgrades such as new awnings and windows.

Another constant has been the recital, which takes place every Father’s Day, and has been held for the last three decades in a nice venue at Villa Victoria Academy in Ewing Township, New Jersey.

This year’s 40th anniversary finale featured one song from each previous recital.

“It was sentimental, resurrecting all those old numbers,” Pulaski said.

In all, there were about 200 dancers, ranging in age from 2½ to 18.

“It’s the culmination of everybody’s efforts,” Pulaski said.

One of the teachers is Daniela Galdi, 30, who began dancing at Anna Marie’s when she was 3. She’s a 2008 graduate of the University of the Arts.

The first dance at the recent recital was to Sometimes a Fantasy, by Billy Joel. It was choreographed in 1980 by Elizabeth Pulaski.

“I think that was a big highlight for the students,” Galdi said.

The dancers at Anna Marie’s are divided into three levels: Company, Training Company and Junior Training Company.

There are no competitions. Their year consists of events such as a performance for the Eliza­beth Ann Pu­laski Me­mori­al Schol­ar­ship Fund at the Uni­versity of the Arts and St. Hubert; a breakfast with Santa Claus at St. Hubert; the Bridesburg Memorial Day Parade; Sexton Sideshows at Gloria Dei Old Swedes’ Episcopal Church; and First Fridays in Old City.

Pulaski said her dancers spend quality time at the studio, learning something productive and staying out of trouble.

“It’s necessary for children to be involved and active,” she said.

Minacci said the studio remains successful after all these years because of the Pulaskis’ business acumen. Bill Pulaski worked as an accountant.

Anna Marie Pulaski plans to keep churning out local dance talent.

“I’m still loving it. I like the kids,” she said.

For more information, visit the studio, call 215–332–3636 or email annamariesacademyofdance@gmail.com

The studio has Instagram and Facebook pages. The website is annamarie7201.tripod.com ••