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Harrison Dance Studios - West Chester, PA - Reviews page 1 - Judysbook

Harrison Dance Studios

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321 S High St
West Chester, PA 19382
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(610) 692-6144
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Dance Companies , Theater

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Reviews

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Best

I was a professional dancer and have been teaching for many years in Philly, Delaware and surrounding areas. I have owned my own studio in PA and taught at many other studios onl...

Worst

Thank you dancelife36 for your honest representation of this dance studio. It helps those of us who have young ones and are searching to find ""the perfect school"". \r \r I w...

Great Studio 7/20/2009

I was a professional dancer and have been teaching for many years in Philly, Delaware and surrounding areas. I have owned my own studio in PA and taught at many other studios only to be disappointed at the lack of manners and professionalism. My classes are difficult, so great technique is needed to pick up the my choreography. I teach at Harrisons (not a former student) and can tell you the students are well mannered, respectful to teachers and to each other. I have been to studios where the students talk over the teachers and on cell phones during class and nothing is said. I have watched young ladies grab their crotches in shows and competitions as part of their dance routines. And worst yet, watched them verbally disrespect each other in class. You won’t find that at Harrisons. These girls are dedicated and work 7 days a week. I can give my hardest steps and they always pick them up. They don’t talk during class and pay close attention to details. I have great technique and get that back from my students at Harrisons. I teach Jazz, Hip-Hop, Broadway, Vegas, and Lyrical styles and have never been disappointed by these girls at a competition or a show. They wear costumes that are beautiful and presentable in any venue they perform in. I look forward to attending their shows, especially Nutcracker ! I certainly wish all students had the manners, respect and devotion that these girls have. It is not only my pleasure to teach them, but be proud of them and what they do as young dancers and performers. \r \r Sincerely,\r Jody Ellis\r more

Training in life skills 12/11/2008

I don't know if my 4 and 6 year old girls will ever be professional dancers.\r I do know that I want them to succeed and to be known for their self confidence in whatever task they undertake. That success comes to those who treat others with respect and dignity. \r When we went to an open house at Harrison's Studio in West Chester, the dancers were good, as you would expect, but that wasn't what really impressed my wife and I. During an intermission, two young ladies, about 8 years old, went down the line of parents, introduced themselves to each of us and then to our children. After they had made the run down the line they stepped back out of the way for the next performance, and started talking between themselves. I was close enough that I could hear them; they were quizzing each other on the names of all the girls they had spoken to! Later they said goodbye to everyone using their name. They did this very casually and most people probably didn't even notice, I just happened to be sitting in the right place at the right time. This is typical for what you would expect from Harrison's, they teach girls about the importance of being a good person and how to do it. While we of course have to teach our own children about values, it's nice to know that your dance school is backing up those lessons. \r Later I spoke to an associate that I know who specializes in photographing dancers. Without telling her about my experience, I asked if she knew anything about the studio, her response was that she only knew that they were always the best mannered, best poised, easiest subjects to work with. Often dancers can make our job as photographers difficult, despite what their parents pay us, so to hear that was very surprising, and sealed the deal for my family.\r We've been there for a little over a year and half, and it continues to be a wonderful experience. Are there better 'technique' schools out there? I don't know, but I do know that I'm glad we're at Harrison's. more

great prep for life 9/27/2008

My 2 daughters have danced at Harrison's for 7years thus far, and we anticipate atleast 7 years more! ! The studio has wonderfully respectful faculty that encourage and develop the dancers' skills according to each girl's level of talent. The dance curriculum is challenging and requires committment and discipline on the part of each dancer. The performance venues are varied...year end recitals, multiple regional dance competitions, the amazing seasonal Nutcracker production, and various exhibitions (at the shore, the West Chester Restaurant Festival, and various local college dance fairs). Some senior dancers have recently participated in a summer Performing Arts program in Santa Fe, N.M. , with nationally recognized faculty. The alumnae boast amazing dance achievements, including being members of Radio City's Rockettes, Donald Trump's production company, and other prestigious dance companies and schools. Many of these alumnae, as well as other respected Broadway/NYC choreographers, return as guest faculty, teaching and encouraging the current students with new dance routines, production advice, and auditioning techniques. From a young age, Harrison's dancers are taught to carry themselves in a confident, lady-like manner. The girls learn so much more than the exquisite dance technique that Harrison's is known for....poise, manners, respect for self and others, team work, and confidence. My money is well spent,on this superb dance training, and the time spent with The Harrison's Dance Studio family is clearly enriching the lives of my children. Thank you Miss Christine, Miss Debbie, and all the talented faculty for your expert help in building another generation of ladies well prepared for life.... Pros: superb dance training more

What are you complaining about? 9/18/2008

Well, I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but what is the point of complaining. If you didn't like Harrison's why didn't you move on long ago! I was a dancer for Harrison's for 12 years and now my two daughter's dance there, as well. Let's be adults here, if you have the time to complain and feel your daughter wasted time, shouldn't you be mad at yourself. I believe that the quality of training in this type of dance is superb at Harrison's. This is not a ""School of Rock""..... it is classical ballet, tap and jazz, maybe you should have read the letters they sent home when your daughter joined the studio and you would have known. I have found that most of the mother's that complain have children that aren't that good of a dancer as they may think. Harrison's productions are beautiful, their costumes are one-of-a-kind and their classic way of training is only for those that truly appreciate dance. Good luck to those with negative feelings, I think you'll find that if you want to spend your money on street dancing you'd be better off just sending your daughter to a corner with a boom box, but if you are looking for a studio that teaches the girls to be young, beautiful ladies and classic dancers than Harrison's is the PERFECT place to be. Thank you Harrison's for a life time of memories and a future full of beautiful dreams coming true! Pros: Quality Dance Studio more

Don't even think of going here 9/3/2008

I wouldn't spend any time or money on this place. The training is horrible. These kids wouldn't know 'technique' if they fell over it. Their teachers are their own former students and none is very good. The same bad habits and lack of any real dance training just get passed on and on. They brag about their ""accomplishments,"" but can never name anone or anything specific. Their so-called choeography is atrocious and the costuming is even worse. Real dancers don't wear those ditzy little crowns on their heads!\r \r If you want to study ballet, don't waste time even thinking about this place. Go to the Rock School of Dance or the Dance Center (school of the Brandywine Ballet) or even Crane Performing Arts. Stay far away from Harrison's.\r \r And all that hype about being voted the ""Best Dance School"" for many years in a row? That's a newspaper contest where readers send in a ballot cut from the paper. Harrison's advertises very heavily in the paper when that contest is going on and I've heard they urge their students to have their parents send in as many votes as they can. Other schools don't bother with such nonsense. Cons: A waste of time more

Seeking dancelife36 7/8/2008

Thank you dancelife36 for your honest representation of this dance studio. It helps those of us who have young ones and are searching to find ""the perfect school"". \r \r I want to know, where do you go now???\r \r Thanks! more

Not even close to professional. 5/7/2008

There's no way this studio can claim it's teachers are pros. Yes, some girls get individualized attention, but they are not getting CORRECT instruction. I danced there for many years, believing the ""hype"" that they were the best, etc. Then I took a class at another studio (and have since switched) and was BLOWN AWAY at the difference. I was embarrassed at how much I DIDN'T know, and I had been dancing with Harrison's for over 10 years. There were basic head, and arm positions, and simple ballet terms that I didn't even KNOW. The past reviewer who said Harrison's teachers are Harrison's graduates is right. I think that is how the professionalism has been lost. It's like ""whisper down the lane"" of technique, eventually it gets lost in translation. I even feel sad for the girls (AND parents shelling out all that $) who remain at Harrison's and think they're getting professional training! Now outside looking in, it's almost like I was brainwashed into believing I was in a good school. You'll notice all the good reviews here are from current Harrison's students (who believe they're in a good school because they DON'T know better!) and the only other review is a former Harrison's dance mom who (luckily) found her way out and sees things exactly like me. Do not waste your money. However, I will say that I have few complaints about Harrison's Jazz and Tap companies (led by Debbie Harrison). BUT if you want QUALITY and PROFESSIONAL ballet training, Harrison's is NOT the place to be. If you want to learn partnering. FORGET IT! There are only creepy MEN who assist with partnering training. And the partnering that they do is acrobatic, yes, but pretty, and graceful NO. One of the men who did partnering while I was there was like 50 years old, out of shape, smelled like cigarettes, and was always around while girls would be changing off stage. Weird, huh? \r And the former dance mom that said the recitals were long and brutal at almost 4 hours was NOT exaggerating. Cons: Expensive tuition for questionable training. more

Amazing Place to Be! 3/23/2008

I personally have been with Harrison Studio for just under 6 months. I have realized that isn't very long, but I will never forget the first night I walked into that studio. I sat down in the back corner as the company girls were practicing a dance. All of these girls down to the very smallest, all of these ballerinas were in complete unisin. I didn't hear a pitter-patter of feet hitting the floor. I heard one toe shoe gently land onto the studio wood flooring. If I had closed my eyes I would have only been able to tell that one girl was in the studio that night. I came in early a few times and I saw the instructors working with the girls. All of the instructors explain everything in great detail and help girls individually. Its a great place to be because you can learn so much more from this studio than at many others. When our studio goes to competitions we are the ones noticed. The dances we perform have never been seen before. I know this because i have watched them be created. It is a great place to be for any young dancer. The instructors are very helpful and always polite. As it gets close to the performances it gets harder because the instructors know what these girls are really capable of doing. They push a little harder being careful not to work the girls too hard. These teachers really know what they are doing. There have been multiple girls that have gone through Harrison Dance Studio and have used there knowledge here to perform in many other schools. This isn't a joke. It's the real deal. If you want your girl to get a good education in dance and becoming a lady Harrison is the place for her. more

were rated the top dance studio in PA 3/14/2008

okay so ive been dancing at harrisoons since i was 3 years old so i guess thats 14 years. anyway harrisons is the best place i have danced i have danced at one other place but i hated the teachers. The Harrisons teachers are so kind and nice but when it come to competitions there though on you but its funn because then you reach your goal they want eveyone who dances there to be the best! We do 3 spring recitals, starpower talent competitions and this year we are adding a competition called ""access broadway""\r we also dance in rehobeth beach. Its a lot of fun to get all the customs and see what there gonna look like everything there is just so exciting. and the cool thing is that the owners (sisters) one of them was a formal radio city rockette. we also have guest teachers that come from the staff of the rockettes or pople that danced at harrisons growning up but are now rockettes or were...and they teach us a lot of cool and neat choreagraphy........its agreat place eveyone is so nice and if a older girl sees that you dnont really have somthing right or you need help they will help you. so there like my second family because we always haveee a ton of fun in eveything we do like for example after shows and performances we go out to eat not matter how late it is and its just sooo much fun it really is. so HDS is the place to dance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =) more

HDS= <3 3/13/2008

i personally dance at Harrisons and think it is the best place to dance ever. They teach you how to be young ladies and its basically my second home. Company is hard and it is a great place to meet friends because everyone is extremely nice at all times. i <3 HDS!!! more

Harrison Dance Studio is the BEST dance studio 3/9/2008

Harrison Dance studio is an amazing place to learn dance technique. Contrary to what some may think, it's teachers were trained by professionals and danced as professionals. The studio is run by two women, one of which was a professionally trained dancer and an assistant to her teacher in New York City. The other is a former radio City Rockette. Guest teachers from the Radio City Rockette staff as well as professional dancers and choreographers for shows in Atlantic City and various cruise lines come to teach numerous workshops throughout the year(among others). The two main teachers created the dance team at West Chester University. \r \r Also, nothing against surrounding schools but people seem to think they are more ""professional"" than Harrison, but you need to check your own teacher backgrounds. Most of them were once Harrison dancers. (Brandywine Ballet, many teachers at the Rock School just to name a few)\r \r Oh and another thing, Harrison Dance Studio also believes in teaching its students how to behave like ladies at all times and not talk badly of the other surrounding schools, which is something that certain people who write reviews on this site may want to consider learning about. more

Save your money!! Do not choose this studio. 2/26/2008

My daughter danced with Harrison's for years and when we decided to try another school, ""The Rock School"" we were told that after 8 years of dancing with Harrison's she basically needed to be RETRAINED. Harrison's ""professional"" staff are Harrison's GRADUATES. Hardly the definition of ""professional"". My daughter was not even aware of the proper terms of BASIC ballet positions let alone the proper positions themselves.\r The studio ALONE (which is the lower level of the owners house) seems extremely ""amateur"" compared to the professional studios, elsewhere with things simple as ""working air conditioning"", sprung floors, waiting rooms, locker rooms and an office staff. None of these are present at Harrison's.\r Their spring recitals are BRUTAL at over 4 hours sometimes, while your child is on stage for 5 minutes while the ""senior"" company showcases THEMSELVES for most of the time, and it seems that $$ charges for ""this & that"" are continuous and unexpected.\r Yes, the teachers are friendly and nice, however, for the same price of tuition/costumes & other unseen costs, you can get QUALITY instruction at a PROFESSIONAL studio such as The Rock School for Dance Education or the Brandywine Ballet Company. Do NOT be fooled by all their ""awards"" as certain students (like the owner's daughter) are focused on & receive ""special treatment"". Instead, research their staff! You will quickly learn that they are FAR from ""professional"".\r I wasted YEARS and thousands of dollars with Harrison's and ended up with an extremely disappointed daughter who though she knew how to ""dance"". After 3 years with The Rock School, she has finally ""caught up"" to dancers her age and even improving beyond that, thanks to the attention of the awesome staff who knew she came from ""Harrison's"" and needed extra correction.\r This is NOT a school for any dancer serious about dancing, or for anyone who values the dance education their child receives.. Do NOT waste your money. more

HDS <3 5/7/2006

I dance at Harrison's and I think it is the best studio ever! Everyone is really nice and everyone is encouraged to have fun no matter what skill level. I am in the Ballet, Tap, and Jazz Companies, which is pre-professional level training. We do The Nutcracker, Starpower Competition, and Spring Recital every year, as well as a performance at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. The teachers encourage us to uphold high standards and act like ladies inside and outside of dance. more
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