The Lathrop School of Dance has been Newtown's top dancing school for generations. Now in our 59th year, LSOD was started by Mack and Virginia Lathrop. They retired in Newtown from a successful stage and vaudeville career which included engagements in many of the world's top venues. "Miss Diane" Wardenburg started with the Lathrops at the age of 4 and later began assisting Mack and Mrs. Lathrop during her college years. "Mack" Lathrop passed away in 1984 and "Mrs. Lathrop" assumed the role of director and lead choreographer. Miss Diane continued her mentoring and became Mrs. Lathrop's assistant. The school continued through the years with Mrs. Lathrop and Miss Diane growing the school and producing the "best show ever" with the annual Stardust Revue right up to Mrs. Lathrop's passing in November of 2009. Now, a new era has begun with Miss Diane as the director and the lead choreographer. Exciting new ideas are flowing and new things will be built upon the foundation of the Lathrop Legacy.
The school continues to embrace rich traditions, blending the newest and latest dance styles in a wonderful atmosphere with a personal level of instruction that Mrs. Lathrop and Mack treasured. Besides teaching the best possible choreography, we stress some of life's more valuable lessons. As teachers we instill promptness, dedication, education, creativity and kindness. As dancers, we teach style, class, showmanship and to be gracious. We do not believe in the competitive environment that dance competitions often create or the additional expenses they incur. We are proud to say generations of families have experienced the sense of community, friendships and musical experience beyond the current trends or fads.
We practice our community outreach on an annual basis. With benefit performances during the recital, we donate proceeds to the Newtown Scholarship Fund and Danbury Hospital Department of Pediatrics. We march with pride in the annual Labor Day Parade and perform at the Lions Club's annual Great Pootatuck Duck Race.
In order to bring our students a well rounded dance education, our program includes various types of dance from Tap, Modern, and Pre-ballet to Jazz. Various styles such as Broadway dance, musical theatre, hip-hop, production and kick line numbers are also included. We showcase our students' abilities at our annual recital, The Stardust Revue, held always, the first weekend in June.
"Miss Diane" is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University and Dance Educators of America. LSOD teachers and assistants are chosen based on their talent and their ability to serve as a role model to our students. Adding their excitement creates an energy as we all work together and make it all possible. Teachers and assistants include "Miss Lynn" Lewis, "Miss Tamra" Brennan, "Miss Colby" Caron, "Miss Kara" Clement, "Miss Amy" Plude, "Miss Samantha" Macchiaverna, "Miss Megan" Robinson, "Miss Kaitlin" Hollrah, and "Miss Megan" Sajovic.
Bringing NYC to Newtown! Miss Diane and the lead teachers will again be studying dance in NYC, taking classes from dance performers/teachers who are tops in the dance world. We study all summer to bring the best and most creative new dance moves and music to share with you! Blending the hip and latest with the timeless Lathrop tradition makes for the best mix. It is going to be another fabulous year! Join us in the excitement for the opening of our new studio in the Edmond Town Hall, complete with hardwood flooring, mirrors, ballet bar and reception area, with classes still continuing in the gym and on stage.
In response to many requests, we are adding exciting 6 and 8 week classes, including Zumba, Zumba for kids, Hip-Hop, Yoga, and Technique Classes. See "What We Offer" for more details. These are great opportunities to experience the Lathrop School of Dance family.