Miss Jennie’s School Of Dance Opens In Maumee

Owner and teacher Jennie Pagano is ready to welcome students to the new home of Miss Jennie’s School of Dance. MIRROR PHOTO BY KRISTI FISH

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Miss Jennie’s School of Dance will host its grand opening in Maumee on Saturday, April 6.

The dance school, which was previously housed in Toledo, brings a variety of dance specialties, including jazz, tap and ballet, to its new Parkway Plaza location.

“We also have modern, which I love, lyrical and musical theater,” said owner and teacher Jennie Pagano. “I also teach voice lessons, piano lessons and guitar lessons.”

Additionally, the school offers tumbling. Providing a variety of classes is possible because of the teachers at Miss Jennie’s School of Dance and the encouragement of previous instructors for Pagano.

“We do dance, that’s obviously our primary thing, but we do more than that because I feel like nowadays, we need more than that,” Pagano said. “We try to help in any way we can.”

At Miss Jennie’s School of Dance, it’s about raising good humans, who are kind and thoughtful and care about one another, she added.

Students at the school will learn proper dance techniques but will also learn how to create an inclusive environment.

Using positive reinforcement, the instructors make sure the students, from age 3 to 99, are enjoying their time in the studio.

It’s important, Pagano said, that people who just want to have fun and learn a new skill feel welcomed just the same as those with future dance career aspirations.

Much of her technique comes from the teachers and professors who taught Pagano herself.

Her first-ever dance teacher, Cassandra, was a family friend who helped form her love of dance.

When Pagano first went off to college, she was a music major at Michigan State. After one year, she knew she needed a change, and her mother encouraged her to attend a dance show at the Doermann Theatre at The University of Toledo and that was it.

“I was wowed,” Pagano recalled. “I immediately changed my major and took my last three years at UT.”

From there, Pagano then began her career as a dance teacher, helping young students embrace the same love of dance she had at their age.

“I taught at Daryl Jervis Dance Studio South for 17 years,” Pagano said. “Miss Rosalie (Bayer) was the owner and she taught me everything I know.”

After Miss Rosalie’s passing, Pagano then worked for two other studios, taking some time off in between.

In 2020, she realized she wanted to create an inclusive space for the students who had faithfully followed her from studio to studio.

Miss Jennie’s School of Dance opened in November of 2020.

“I had nothing at that point, but I knew how to run a studio because of Miss Rosalie. She was amazing,” Pagano said. “The whole point of my studio is that everybody is welcome. I don’t care who you are, what your ability is, how old you are or what you look like, you can come.”

Rather than doing best dancer awards at the end of the year, Pagano makes sure her studio does a Citizenship Award for her students and celebrates dancers for who they are, not just their skill level.

For four years, she has fostered an environment that encourages that mentality.

Unfortunately, the building that housed her Toledo studio flooded, but through the generosity of student families, Pagano was able to secure a temporary location while she looked for the new home of Miss Jennie’s School of Dance.

Once at Parkway Plaza, Pagano knew she had found the perfect home and has spent weeks painting the walls her signature purple color and preparing the space for her students.

To welcome all current students and potential new ones to the 2578 Parkway Plaza location, she is hosting a grand opening on Saturday, April 6.

“I want all my young students to be able to tour the new place and get comfortable with it before I ask them to dance here,” she said.

In the space, they will find the large front studio surrounded by mirrors ready for ballet and tumbling. The smaller studio is perfect for her littlest students and the tap dancers. Another room is dedicated as the homework room, encouraging students to finish their school lessons between studio classes.

In the back, Pagano has a lobby for parents and family to hang out during classes. On one wall is a coffee station and a small jar to collect funds so one student each year can attend her school for free.

“It’s the Rosalie Bayer Scholarship Fund,” Pagano said.

For questions about enrollment or to tour the new space, interested families are encouraged to attend the grand opening on Saturday, April 6 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Other information on the school of dance can also be found on the Miss Jennie’s School of Dance Facebook page.

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