The Argonaut – Festival Dance and Performing Arts Academy opens a new location in Troy, Idaho


Festival Dance and Performing Arts Academy has been providing opportunities to express creativity since 1972. The academy, located throughout the Palouse, has reopened in Troy, Idaho, to expand its classes in person.

Open January 20 to the general public, classes are open to children aged four to nine, as stated in the press release. Located in the Lions Club guest area, students can make creative moves with an introduction to ballet and ballet levels one and two. Although the debut of this satellite location was put on hold during the academy’s first semester, they are happy to open their doors to young dancers.

Sophia Raasch, current professor and teacher at the academy, will teach these classes. Raasch is studying at the University of Idaho and preparing for her BA in Food and Nutritional Sciences, Pre-Physical Therapy, and a Minor in Dance. She grew up in Troy and is a former student of the academy. Dancing at the academy since the age of 12, she has been a part of it for six years.

“I started dancing when I was six and didn’t really start taking it seriously until I was about 12. ”Said Raasch. “I think my favorite part about it was the self-competition. I learned to work with my body and had tried like other sports… (but) I love the structure behind the dance.

Raasch works with children and her favorite part is introducing them to her passion for dancing. Learning to dance is an education for their body and coordination skills, and to familiarize and feel comfortable in their own skin, said Raasch. It teaches children how to count music, different connection points and memorization. The skills they learn here can be applied anywhere outside the dance studio or in public school, Raasch said.

Part of the reason the academy reopened its satellite location in Troy was to introduce a younger generation to dancing.

“The aim is to reach out to surrounding communities (outside of) Moscow to involve more children in the dance,” Raasch said. “Especially here in northern Idaho, it’s hard to find dance studios in the area.”

She hopes the opportunities offered by the awareness program reach people as a way to share the art of dance.

While the Troy location is only available for children, the academy locations at UI and Moscow allow students to explore dance. They offer classes for adults and regularly invite adults, as the academy is open to all ages and experience levels.

To learn more about the opportunities at Festival Dance and Performing Arts Academy, visit their website.

Emily Pearce can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @Emily_A_Pearce.


Gerald R. Schneider

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