By: Lauren Lindsay ’21
Longwood Performing Arts -is a dance studio located in K ennett Square. It was founded in 1978, and it has just celebrated its 40th anniversary. Often referred to as “LPA,” the studio was founded by Ms. Jane Roosevelt.
At the time, the studio was located in Roosevelt’s basement, and she was the only teacher. Currently, Longwood has 300 students, 11 teachers, six styles of dance instruction (ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, and hip-hop), and a proper studio building—quite a change from the original, modest basement studio. Roosevelt has since passed the studio down to a new owner, Ms. Amanda Philipp, who trained at Longwood herself.
Throughout the year, the Longwood students participate in numerous festivals, recitals, and community events. LPA hosts two in-house performances: an end-of-the-year recital and a Christmas show. The Christmas show combines traditional dances and scenes from The Nutcracker with more modern tap and jazz pieces. Longwood dancers perform at multiple community events as well, including the Kennett Square Halloween parade, the Kennett Square tree lighting, and the Mushroom Drop on New Years Eve. They also dance at the Victory Food Truck Festival in June, and in September, they perform at the Mushroom Parade. The festivals that Longwood attends are the West Chester Dance Festival, Chester County Dance Festival, and the Beat Addicts DelAWAREness performance.
LPA has a strong connection with the school district, as nearly half of its students attend school in the district. Thus, many of Longwood’s audience members are parents in the district. In addition, several members of the high school’s dance team are Longwood dancers. Over the years, LPA company members have also lent their skills to the high school’s annual musical. The current owner of Longwood, Ms. Philipp, commented on the studio’s relationship with the district, “We try to stay connected with Unionville and the community, and we’ve done performances [at Unionville High School] in the past.”