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Landrum School struts its stuff at 60 – QNS.com

Landrum School struts its stuff at 60

The Landrum School of Dance, the very first dancing school in all of Queens, is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Established in 1948 by Frances Landrum, one of the 36 original Radio City Music Hall “Rockettes,” the school started over the Whitestone Post Office.
In 1980, Annette Vallone, herself a Rockette, walked away from a two-year contract in front of the footlights to head the school. “I was just 18-years-old and my family thought I was crazy,” she said, adding, “I’ve never, never regretted my career path - it’s been incredibly fulfilling.”
It must be fulfilling for her students, too. Vallone opened a second location in Maspeth 10 years ago and can boast having students from three to 73-years-old.
“We’ve had multi-generation families, even great-grandmothers” she said. “When grandmothers who learned under Frances Landrum bring their granddaughters to us, it says something,” Vallone added, with a measure of pride.
“My choreography has won the Jazz World Congress Overall Creativity award as well as the Dance Educators Teachers of Excellence award,” Vallone recounted, admitting that, “Nothing makes me prouder than to see my students achieve the amazing levels of dance that they have set out to accomplish.”
Last summer, a 10-year-old Landrum student from Whitestone, Tara Maguire, placed first in her division at the national competition of the Junior Miss Dance Educators of America.
“She’s amazing,” Vallone said, enumerating Maguire’s talents. “She’s highly proficient in tap, ballet, modern Jazz, acro [acrobatic] and lyrical forms.”
To be named the nation’s best “Small-fry Junior Miss” performer nationwide, Maguire edged out roughly 1,000 aspiring dancers.
At four-and-a-half feet tall, the petite Maguire is “dedicated - a very hard worker” and a “powerful” performer, according to her dance master. “She’s been with us for five years, and my entire staff is so proud of her,” Vallone said.
The Landrum School locations offer classes in Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Acrobatics, Pre-School Ballet and Musical Theatre.
The classes are offered to beginner through professional levels and they have a competition team for children “who need more of an outlet for performance,” Vallone said. “Our recitals at the end of the year are legendary in the industry for being truly amazing,” she added.
Landrum Schools of Dance are located at 11-02 Clintonville Street in Whitestone (Phone 718-767-9787) and 61-30 Grand Avenue in Maspeth (Phone 718-416-1516).

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