Since a young age, Seaford native Jennifer Napolitano always had big dreams in the world of dance.
With 25 years of dancing experience, Napolitano recently opened up her first studio in her hometown. The Jennifer Napolitano School of Performing Arts (JNPA) is located in the same building as off of Merrick Road.
After graduating from , Napolitano traveled all over the country as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and competitive judge. The 28-year old formed her own dance company, Jennifer Napolitano Dancers, which helped motivate her to open a studio.
"I had my own dance company with girls that are from the area and it kept building and building," Napolitano said. "We decided to open a studio and it's been a success, thankfully."
Still a Seaford resident, Napolitano believes her roots contributed greatly to the success of her own career and her business today.
"I think the family-friendly atmosphere and close community really makes a difference," she explained. "Growing up, my neighbors were like our family. I think when you come from a strong foundation and positive energy, it gives you a push to achieve your goals."
Napolitano prides herself in the exceptional level of service and expertise offered at her studio. Unlike many other facilities, Napolitano herself has danced both on and off Broadway, and staffs hip-hop teachers from the hit movie "Step Up 3D."
As a featured performer on Broadway in "Gypsy of the Year" at the New Amsterdam Theatre and a star in the off Broadway hit "My Big Gay Italian Wedding", Napolitano holds high credentials in her field. JNPA students have also made it big in the dance world, according to Napolitano. Several students are currently casted in "Billy Elliot" in the Chicago, Toronto and New York showings.
"We carry a very top level of quality and strive to build self esteem and confidence," Napolitano explained. "We're coming from the real dance world. It's not just teachers who went to college for dance or a local dance studio. We've worked in the professional world and that keeps us cutting edge."
JNPA offers a wide array of classes for males and females of all ages ranging from musical theater and jazz to tap and zumba. Since her opening, Napolitano said the school has far exceeded her expectations and she hopes to continue to grow within the community.
"The goal was originally to maintain enough clients to stay open," she said. "I don't do this to make money, I do it for the passion. I now have a wonderful, wonderful clientele. I'm very content with where we are now but more to come is always a goal for us."
As a new business in Seaford, Napolitano hopes to return the support she has received over the last three months. The school has donated to local organizations such as and larger groups like St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
"I feel very lucky and blessed to have this business and I want to give back as much as I can," Napolitano said.
For more information regarding class times and registration, call JNPA at 516-785-STAR.