Dream Makers celebrates first anniversary

Dream Makers Performing Arts celebrated its first birthday in style.

To honor its first successful year teaching children and adults to dance, the studio held its First Anniversary Broadway Gala on October 16 and 17. The dancers performed for sold-out audiences for both shows.

“It was great,” said Lisa Maietta-Rybacki, a Country-Club native who founded the school in October 2009. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to do this. It was never a place where I could go and get proper training in dance, acting and vocals, so this brings it to the community.”

Rybacki began dancing as a little girl, traveling back and forth to Manhattan for training.

For a decade she worked as an actress, performed in the national tour of West Side Story, and was the dance captain for the first Broadway tour of Grease.

Since starting the studio a year ago, the school has grown from 50 to 180 students, between the ages of two and 75.

Rybacki recently had to double the space at the Tremont studio by taking over the adjacent apartment. However, that may not even be enough as she is continuing to look for more space that the school can expand into.

“It’s really growing fast,” she said. “It’s my little dance Heaven.”

Performers from Radio City Music Hall, Grease, West Side Story and others performed for the roughly 225 people that came to the anniversary event.

Not one to hog her good fortune, Rybacki split the proceeds of her anniversary event with Broadway Care Equity Fight AIDS, which raises money to cure HIV/AIDS. About $2,000 was raised for the group.

The rest of the money will go towards the traveling competition teams at the studio, which dominated the competitions in their first time with the studio this year.

“We’ll be going to nationals this summer. We took everything this year. We were first overalls in every category. Our competitions teams, they practically live here,” she said. “We’re going to do this every year too, so the Broadway and the Bronx communities can come together for great causes.”

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