There are other opportunities to study dance in the Winona community, but there is nothing that compares with the the long rich history and unique experience MCA offers. MCA begun as the Ballet School under the direction of our founder, Stefannié Valéncia Kierlin in 1973. We invite you to join us for a class, camp or free Family Arts Academy Workshop to experience the difference for yourself, in the mean time below is a list of a few things that make the MCA experience special.
MCA instructors hold degrees or comparable experience that allow them to help students develop technique as well as artistry in a fun and supportive environment.
Family Friendly Environment
One of the remarks that we hear most often from MCA students and families is that they feel that MCA is like a second family with teachers that are caring and positive role models. They also love the progression they are making in dance without the pressure of competition. Dress codes and careful selection of music also help foster a positive environment for all ages. Family discounts, payment plans, scholarships, apprentice opportunities, and our adult wellness discount help make MCA programs accessible to everyone. Learn more about our policies & discounts.
MCA is located inside of the Valencia Arts Center (VAC) in Winona, MN. The VAC features 3 dance studios equipped with wood sprung floors (that are gentler on joints than other surfaces), a black box theatre, recital hall, four practice rooms for private music lessons, lobby and other waiting areas. Our building equipped with free Wi-Fi, reading materials to enjoy while you wait and our lobby features a TV that streams a closed circuit view of youth dance classes.
Variety of Offerings
MCA’s Dance Division offers classes for students’ 18mo- Adulthood. We even have adults in our Adult Dance and Wellness Program and Seeding Vitality Arts Program (for ages 55+) that are staying fit and active well into their 80’s. Dance and Fitness styles taught at MCA include; Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Modern, Hip Hop, Creative Movement, Irish, Barre Fitness, Yoga, Dance Conditioning, Choreography. MCA also runs a Boys Dance Program that has received national attention and a three-week Summer Dance Intensive with a boarding option that attracts students from as far away as Alaska, Texas and Mexico. Thanks to our affiliation with Saint Mary’s University of MN, some dance classes are eligible to be taken for credit. Special arrangements have also been made at Cotter High School to accept hours of dance instruction and rehearsal to be counted towards Physical Education requirements.
MCA is not a recital based studio so students that wish may take classes just for the sake of learning the technique, artistry and physical benefits. However, with two productions yearly with our pre-professional Dance Repertory Company (DRC) offers students the opportunity to perform in fully mounted dance concerts. Dance Concerts range from the biannual production the the full length ballet of The Nutcracker to stagings of new contemporary works. DRC holds auditions and rehearsals that are separate from classroom instruction time, so students can focus on technique and artistry during class time. Intermediate and advanced dance classes regularly have an opportunity to perform throughout the community at special events such as the National Tap Dance Day Celebration, MCA’s Family Arts Academy Workshops, St.Patrick’s Day Events and more.
More than Dance
MCA dancers not only have the opportunity to dance but they can also develop leadership and other life skills through participation in our Apprentenship program and by joining our National Honors Society for Dance Arts Chapter. Parents, Alumni, and Community Members are invited to join our Friends of MCA, a board to help support what is happening at Conservatory and have input into future programing and policy changes.
Proven History of Success
Dance can provide students of any age coordination, balance, strength, and motor skills but it can also teach valuable life skills such as; confidence, teamwork, poise, and perseverance. MCA offers both recreational and pre-professional students what they need to meet their goals. MCA students and alumni have studied at or performed with American Ballet Theatre, Ananya Dance Theatre, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, Minnesota Ballet School, Ballet Austin, Milwaukee Ballet School, Continental Ballet, St. Paul Ballet, Limon Dance Company, Juilliard, Ordway Theatre,University of Oklahoma, and the Joffery Ballet among others.