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While many may have enjoyed a relaxing spring break, Tiffany Heintzman, owner of Tiffany Wakely Academy of Dance, was busy preparing dresses and costumes for her students’ upcoming dance recital being held at Southwestern Central School on May 26 and 27 at 7pm.
Heintzman has danced since she was very young and credits her mom for getting her involved in organizations like the Lucille Ball Little Theatre and Junior Guilders. Heintzman said she joined the Junior Guilders when she was five years old and now she does choreography for them.
Heintzman’s mom was instrumental in getting her and her brother involved with the Little Theatre where they performed. “It takes a parent to keen in and realize what the child is interested in,” she said. “I’m grateful my mom exposed me to the arts when I was young.”
A 1998 graduate from Jamestown High School, Heintzman performed in high school musicals and was part of the illustrious Madrigal Singers and A cappella Choir.
Heintzman said when she took the stage as a young girl, she knew she wanted to sing, dance and do something with music. She holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Music Theatre from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester Virginia, where she also minored in piano. Heintzman continues to grow as a performer and passes her knowledge on to her students. She is in her eighth year of business and currently has 230 students enrolled in classes.
Heintzman toured with dance companies in Texas and New York City after college. While in New York City she questioned whether it was the place she wanted to start a family of her own.
“Jamestown is a lovely area,” Heintzman said, adding that she wanted to raise a family in her home town. Heintzman said she has always been close with her family and came back to Jamestown to be with them. Upon her return, an opportunity presented itself to purchase what was then called the Lorraine School of Dancing. She met with the owners and was offered the chance to purchase the school.
Heintzman said there are a lot of opportunities in Jamestown. “Our town really supports the arts.”
She has always loved the arts, music, and children. “I love kids. The two together seemed like a perfect fit. It was always a dream job of mine and I never thought it was possible.” She said she prayerfully considered purchasing the business before making her decision.
Now Heintzman works seven days a week preparing students for dance recitals, doing business paperwork, along with raising two small girls, Eden, 2, and Everly, 5 months old.
So how does Heintzman accomplish so much in one week?
“I have a very supportive husband,” Heintzman said of her husband of six years, Mark Heintzman, whom she met after returning to the area. Her mother also helps the business by working as the office secretary.
Tiffany Wakely Academy of Dance offers classes in tap, jazz, lyrical contemporary ballet, and hip hop. Students are grouped by age and ability. There is a waiting list to get into the classes. Jamestown Gazette readers interested in more information may contact Tiffany Heintzman at Tiffany Wakely Academy of Dance at 484-8304. The studio is located at 415 W. 4th Street in Jamestown.