How We Started
Pas de Deux Dance Studio has its origins in the Zachari's Ballerinas Summer Program, which ran each summer from 1997 - 2006. Created as a high school community service project, Zachari's Ballerinas gave dancers a taste of ballet without having to commit to a full year program. Classes were taught at a variety of locations over the years: through St Paul Community Education (at Battle Creek Environmental Magnet Elementary, Battle Creek Middle School and Harding High School), in conjunction with the Maternity of Mary - St Andrews summer program, at North Presbyterian Church, and through Saint Paul Parks and Recreation at Dayton's Bluff Rec Center.
After the 10th Anniversary of the Summer Program, Pas de Deux Dance Studio opened to give dancers an affordable way to study ballet throughout the year.
The First 5 Years (2006 - 2011)
The studio celebrated its five year anniversary during the annual spring recital in May of 2011.
The first year, Pas de Deux Dance Studio offered Pre-Ballet, Ballet 1, Ballet 2 and a Performance Class to allow dancers the chance to have extra dances in the Spring Recital. During the first five years, the studio added many classes to its offerings, including additional Technique levels, Pointe, Baby Ballet and Teen/Adult Ballet. May 2011 saw the first group of "5-Year Dancers" - those dancers who have attended Pas de Deux Dance Studio for 5 years of dance lessons - as well as the first graduating senior.
The studio has also offered a variety of summer classes and camps to bring dance to more children in new ways, and continues to offer classes through Saint Paul Parks and Recreation at North Dale Recreation Center.
Years 6 through 10 (2011 - 2016)
2013 introduced the "Senior Solo" to the annual Spring Recital, which gives graduating high school seniors who have been at Pas de Deux Dance Studio for at least two full years (with good attendance) the opportunity to choreograph and perform a ballet solo of their choosing on stage.
In 2014 and 2015, Pas de Deux hosted the youth cast of Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker". Students from Pas de Deux, along with dancers from other local studios, had the opportunity to audition for and, if chosen, perform with the Moscow Ballet during their performances in Minneapolis at the Orpheum Theater.
Pas de Deux attended its first dance competition in 2015, with 18 dancers.
In May 2016, Pas de Deux celebrated its 10th anniversary with "Decade of Dance". The celebration included dances from all 9 years of the studio, some new dances for year 10, and our first "10-Year Dancer".
June 2016 saw our first dance trip to the Dance the World dance festival at Disney World with 4 dancers and their families. Our dancers were a part of the first ever parade through Future World in EPCOT. Everyone had a wonderful time and paved the way for future dance trips.
In December of 2011, Pas de Deux Dance Studio staged its inaugural production of "The Nutcracker". The studio's production is an optional opportunity for the studio's dancers, as well as other dance students from the surrounding area.
The premiere production was an abridged version of the full ballet. Each subsequent production has added in dances as the cast grows, while building on the sets and costumes to continually improve the production.
2015 saw the premiere of "The Enchanted Forest", an original full length story ballet. The production incorporated traditional Irish dance along with ballet, allowing local Irish dancers to join in on the fun!
November of 2018 marked the premier of "A Sleeping Beauty". A twist on the classic fairy tale, this production used the traditional music in new ways, combining elements of the classic ballet, the Disney animated story, and other retold fairy tales.
2021 saw the long awaited premiere of "Backstage Nutcracker". In pre-production since 2018, and postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, "Backstage Nutcracker" follows a group of dancers as they audition and prepare for their studio's Nutcracker production.
Years 11 through 15 (2016 - 2021)
The studio hosted a second dance trip to Disney World in June of 2018, this time with a parade down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.
2019 marked the return of Opening Number, as requested by several dancers. This is a special opportunity for dancers from a variety of ability levels to come together for the first dance in the recital.
March 2020 saw the beginning of an integrated online program to help supplement our in studio classes. Each level received a private online group, which allowed dancers to access practice videos and connect with each other outside the classroom. We also held online classes on days we were unable to be in the studio. During the fall of 2020, the studio continued to explore how to use technology to help students expand on their dance education, including streaming classes for dancers who needed to stay home due to illness, but were feeling well enough to dance or take notes.
In May 2021, Pas de Deux celebrated its 15th anniversary with "My Favorite Things". The celebration included a variety of "favorite" dances from past years.
Years 16 + (2021 +)
Pas de Deux Dance Studio is continually growing and expanding, adjusting our class offerings from year to year to best serve our current dancers and provide opportunities for new dancers to join the Pas de Deux Dance Studio family.
Pas de Deux continues to attend one to two dance competitions per year with interested dancers. While most dancers who participate compete with their technique class recital dance, they are also able to compete solos, duets and trios. Dancers are encouraged to compete for their personal best and learn good sportsmanship skills.
May of 2022 was the studio's "Sweet 16". Postponed from 2021, our Sweet 16 year was capped off by another Dance the World festival at Walt Disney World in Florida. Participating dancers learned a special dance for a stage show in the Disney parks (also performed in the spring recital) and had the opportunity to learn a parade dance to perform with other dancers from the US, Canada and Mexico in the Magic Kingdom.