Kanopy Dance Academy (KDA)


Experience the Joy of Dance at the Kanopy Dance Academy (KDA)

For Ages 5-Adult

Beginner to Pre-Professional Tracks & Classes for Dance Enthusiasts

As Kanopy’s official dance academy, KDA offers a comprehensive program of modern dance, choreography, and ballet as well as rare opportunities for students to learn a repertoire of works from nationally acclaimed guest artists and important underrepresented choreographers whose work has not been widely taught. Classes and master workshops are held throughout the year in addition to four-week long Summer Intensives.

Led by Kanopy Dance Company’s artistic directors, Robert E. Cleary, and Lisa Thurrell, KDA is based in Kanopy’s state of the art studios, the Kanopy Center for Modern and Contemporary Dance, 329 West Mifflin Street, around the corner from the Overture Center for the Arts.

KDA provides students with an exceptional dance experience informed by the Martha Graham technique. Principal works by José Limón, Merce Cunningham, Erick Hawkins, Lester Horton, Doris Humphrey, Anna Sokolow, and other practitioners of modern and contemporary dance are also a key part of the curriculum. Class offerings include modern & contemporary dance, choreography/improvisation, ballet, masterwork repertory, health, fitness, & strength building, classical Indian Bharatanatyam dance, modern & ballet classes designed especially for our youngest dancers, and more.

A hallmark of KDA’s program is the teaching of improvisation, choreography, and giving our students an important voice to express themselves through the vocabulary of dance. Dancers learn the art of constructive criticism and discuss their own work collaboratively as part of a dynamic creative process.

Kanopy Dance Academy has tapped into some of the best and diverse talent in the country to build its outstanding faculty team. KDA students have numerous opportunities to perform at outreach events, in live Zoom collaborations with other schools of dance nationally, and in mainstage productions at the Overture Center, including Winter Fantasia: Reimagined and The Next Generation of Dance—Kanopy 2 & Academy Showcase.

Kanopy Dance Academy

Kanopy 2

Kanopy 2, Kanopy’s studio company, offers a rigorous pre-professional training program open to exceptional students of dance by audition only. Serious dancers are introduced to an intense vocabulary of classic and modern forms, and study with national luminaries and emerging artists shaping the future of modern dance. Each year, Kanopy 2 performs and presents original choreography in Kanopy’s season ending show at the Overture Center, and dancers are also sometimes cast in Kanopy’s major season productions. Numerous Kanopy 2 alumni have forged professional dance careers or earned success pursuing other meaningful work and life journeys.

Kanopy Dance Academy