NARDI STUDIOS OVER "80" YEAR HISTORY
The Lehigh Valley's longest running dance studio was located in the Historic State Theater for fifty-two years. It was first established in 1934 by the late Louis Nardi. His protege, Robert Liiro, became the owner of the school in 1965. He was a successful dance instructor for thirty-five years. Miss Tammy began teaching in 1976, and is now the co-owner and Artistic Director of the Studios since 1982.
Nardi Dance Studios moved from the State Theatre in 1986 to its current location in Palmer Township, that includes a well designed modern facility with five dance studios. We are proud to have four generations of alumni
students who have danced at our school throughout these memorable years.
At Nardi Studios, our longevity is due to the pride we take in developing strong foundational skills and proper technique to all our students. We feel strongly that dance is a performing art and not a competitive sport, and we want every dancer to have the opportunity to express themselves, work as a team, bring their own unique personalities and creative ability into everything they are learning.
Our Nardi students are fortunate to have some of the brightest, most enthusiastic, and accomplished dance educators in our area to keep our studio fresh, on top of new techniques and thriving to be better each year. Our faculty will inspire and share their skills, creative abilities and imagination to help our dancers feel a sense of artistry and accomplishment.
At Nardi Studios parents are welcome to observe classes through our unique observation windows and camera monitors in our lobby. Join the Fans of Nardi Dance Studios Performing Arts Center and "Like" us on Facebook to keep in touch with other Nardi dancers and friends.
Palmer Township dance studio celebrating 80th anniversary with weekend recitals
By Melinda Rizzo
on June 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM, updated June 13, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Nardi Dance Studios has a lot to celebrate.
A Northampton County fixture for eight decades, Nardi Dance Studios and Performing Arts Center is celebrating its 80th anniversary of continuously teaching young people how to dance. Four recitals will be performed this weekend at Zoellner Arts Center in Bethlehem.
Tammy Liiro, co-owner, artistic and executive director for Palmer Township-based Nardi Dance Studios, says four generations of families have passed through the dance school, and the longevity of the enterprise surprises even her.
"We are the longest running dance studio in the country, and I just find that an amazing, remarkable thing," Liiro explains.
The upcoming recitals -- happening tonight, Saturday and Sunday -- at Zoellner are proof of the commitment Liiro and her husband, Robert Lirro, share. The Liiros continue the legacy of the late Louis Nardi, who founded the Nardi Dance Studios in 1934. At the time, Nardi Dance Studios operated out of the State Theatre in Easton.
"We have an opening number dating from 1934, from the musical 'Anything Goes,' which was also the year the (popular) show opened on Broadway," Liiro says.
Liiro credits dance as an enduring passion, as discipline and as a creative outlet, all factoring into the success of Nardi Dance Studio.
Even during tough economic times, the studio has endured. "Somehow we got through those (lean) years. People want entertainment, and dance has always been something people wanted to participate in," Liiro says.
Liiro says her approach hasn't changed much, since taking over the school's day-to-day operations in 1986 from husband Robert.
"What has changed is that kids are busy – really too busy – than they were years ago. But they still want to learn the (classic) dances, ballet, tap, jazz and modern," Liiro explains.
Also included are contemporary dance, which is more akin to popular reality television dance programming, along with hip-hop.
"We have more boys come for hip-hop classes, and then decide they also want to learn tap or jazz," Liiro says.
Nardi Dance Studios alum Brittany Smith's love of dance is contagious. Smith will perform with former alumnae in this week's Zoellner performances.
Smith, also of Palmer Township, began dancing at Nardi when she was 3 years old, and her young daughter Rhiley Wheeler, now 8, began dancing when she was 3 years old. "Nardi has always been my second home, and I wanted my daughter to have that same experience," Smith says.
Smith says she hopes to teach dance at Nardi Dance Studios next year.
But for now, being part of the 80th celebration represents something much bigger for her.
"Being part of the 80th (celebration) is a huge event. We're coming together to (mark) that grand experience," Smith says.
Pictures from the Past