Shepherdstown School of Dance (SSOD), in its fourteenth year, is committed to keeping the art and discipline of classical dance alive in the community. Martinsburg native and SSOD owner Emily Romine, found her passion for dance as a young girl in downtown Shepherdstown—when she attended classes at the War Memorial Building, training with Carolou Russell.
“I wanted to be in the studio as much as possible, and Mrs. Russell’s passion for the art and discipline of classical dance found a place in my heart where it still resides to this day,” she explained.
Romine trained throughout her youth, spending many of her summers in New York City taking intensive classes at the School of American Ballet. She took time after high school to travel, but she could never quite stay away from ballet. After college, it wasn’t long before she was asked to be a dance instructor here in the Panhandle.
“Being given the opportunity to pass on my passion and love of classical dance to students, hopefully inspiring them as I was inspired as a student, felt like home,” she noted. “In addition, I was able to choreograph, which satisfied my creativity in the most perfect way.”
Located at 400 S. Princess St., in Shepherdstown, SSOD opened its doors in 2003 and performs the Nutcracker, as well as a spring recital annually. Accepting students ages four through adult, the studio offers classes in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Rommett Floor-Barre®. During the school year, students enroll in leveled classes where they receive comprehensive training in classical dance appropriate for their age level. During the summers, SSOD offers classes for students ages eight and up through their Jump Start, Intensive, and Junior Intensive programs. These classes provide comprehensive, age-appropriate instruction, and are open to students outside of SSOD as well.
Romine is grateful to be part of a community that embraces the arts and allows her studio to thrive. “We love what we do, and feel so fortunate to be a part of the larger arts and dance community in this area.”Lena Camilletti