When the 2020 Summer Olympics commence in Tokyo, don’t be surprised if Valerie Gooding and her students from the New Castle Dance & Music Academy are there, performing for fans from around the world.
“We have an open invitation to perform there,” said Gooding, who started the Academy in 1978.
In 2016, the dancers passed an audition to perform at the 2016 Games in Rio but were redirected to Barcelona because of health concerns in Brazil. They happily traveled to Spain and dazzled the crowd, just another entry on a packed resumé for one of the nation’s most accomplished troupes.
Location: 680 Peoples Plaza, Newark, DE 19702
Facebook: New Castle Dance & Music Academy
Even though the academy has had to relocate three times since 1980, it remains a magnet for talented performers. Gooding estimates that 100 people per day come through the doors to train in a variety of disciplines, from ballet to modern dance to musical instrument training. Thanks to university-trained teachers and a top-shelf curriculum, New Castle Dance & Music Academy is able to stage “Broadway-quality productions,” according to Gooding. No one has to sit through a drab recital.
“I’ve always been very determined to roll out the red carpet to customers,” Gooding said. “I look at the customer through their eyes. We take everyone individually and provide the best training for them.”
Gooding’s daughters, Dana and Heather, have joined the academy and are helping it move ahead, while still adhering to their mother’s high standards.
And getting ready for a trip to Japan.