LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Ovation School of Musical Theatre plans to train students to be "triple threats" with classes in singing, dancing, and acting.
The school, 9122 Town Center Pkwy., Suite 102, opened last month and is offering summer camps and evening classes. And so far it's a success -- 40 students are already taking summer classes.
Owner and director Michelle Teyke, 52, has experience in the performing industry which may draw students to the theatre in the first place.
"The students that come here get passionate about it," said owner and director Michelle Teyke. "They come looking for fun, but they get bitten by the bug and get serious about it."
Teyke who lived in Europe for 22 years, has knowledge, experience, and personal success to contribute to the new musical theatre.
"I became a professional ballet dancer at 16 and moved to Europe to perform," Teyke said. "I danced everywhere before going to musical theater in Berlin where I did six shows a week for eleven years."
As an experienced professional and educator, Teyke believes her skills will be key to the school's success.
"I was head of the dance department at Northern Kentucky University and a faculty member at College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati besides my professional work as a ballerina and musical theatre performer."
Finding faculty members with skills and experience was easy according to Teyke.
The five other faculty instructors specialize in acting, singing, and different styles of dance.
The fall sessions will follow the first half of the school from Aug. 26 to Dec. 21. Students commit to attend for
When the instructors are not working with theater-minded students, the school also offers fitness classes for adults who just want to get in shape.
Fitness classes during the fall will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for adults. There are even evening classes for children.
But the focus is largely on theater.
Tammy Young had already signed her 12-year-old on for musical theater lessons in the fall, after watching her skills improve during the summer session.
"Isabella is taking musical theatre dance classes as well as ballet calsses," Lakewood Ranch resident, Tammy Young said. "I'm thrilled that she's learning in a positive atmosphere."
Young wasn't easy to please, she set high expectation for the school, after shepherding Isabella's older sister -- now in college -- through 15 years of dance classes. After a few sessions, she was pleased with the school's instructors.
"Michelle is awesome," Young said. "She's so complimentary to the kids but structured."
Teyke is now searching for students interested in the advance performance courses.
"The really exciting thing is our triple threat performing class. You have to audition to be in this class because these kids will perform to represent our school in the community," Teyke said.
Students auditioning for the "triple threat performance" will be categorized into two groups : ages 10-12 and ages 13-18. Auditions will be held on Aug. 21 for the performance.
Teyke is pleased with her decision to build the school in Lakewood Ranch. The only other musical theatre schools in the area are Sarasota's Players theatre and Bradenton's Manatee Players.
"For the high number of kids in the Lakewood Ranch area, there really wasn't anywhere for them to get musical theatre classes after school," Teyke said. "There is a whole big group of talented kids that have yet to be found."
For information or to register for classes, visit http://ovation-musicalschool.com/ or call 941-400-4854.