Kathryn Walsh, a graduate of Ursuline Academy, started teaching dance to children in the late 1940’s. Kathryn was accepted into the New York City Rockettes in 1949. She opened Kathryn Walsh’s School of Dance in 1950. In December, 1953, she married Michael Ciminello and continued teaching until 1954, when she started her family. She returned to the Dancing School in September, 1964. The Kathryn Walsh School of Dance became Kathryn Ciminello’s School of Dance. She has been teaching Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, and Acrobatic to children and adults ever since. From September, 1964 through December, 1988, the Ciminello Dance School was located in the basement of Kathryn’s home in Wilmington. As the school attracted more and more students, she moved to our current location of 1710B Newport Gap Pike in Wilmington. The school has been in its “new” home 24 years.
Kathryn’s youngest daughter, Tricia, joined her in September 1991. She started dancing with her mother at age 3 and has grown up in the family business. Tricia is a 1987 graduate of St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, DE. From there she attended Allentown College of St. Francis DeSales in Center Valley, PA, now DeSales University. She graduated in 1991 having earned a B.A. degree in Dance. Along with her responsibilities at the Dancing School, Tricia has been fortunate enough to choreograph the spring musicals at St. Mark’s High School since 2000.
As the school has grown, so have the experiences the Dancing School offers its students. In the last 20 years, Tricia has developed several new opportunities for the students to expand their dance education, enhance performance experience, and become more confident. Along with the above mentioned styles of dance, Tricia also offers Lyrical and Hip Hop. In 1996, The Kathryn Ciminello Dance Troupe was formed. The Dance Troupe is a volunteer group of students ages 4 and up that performs at local retirement homes, such as Little Sisters of the Poor and Millcroft. The Dance Troupe has made many appearances in the Elsmere Holiday Parade and the New Castle Separation Day Parade. Students also perform at Rockwood Mansion’s Open House in the winter.
Kathryn and Tricia run a dance camp for two weeks in August for students ages 4 to 7 and ages 8 to 13 with an outdoor performance at Delcastle Park at the close of the camp. During the holidays, parents and family members are given the opportunity to see their student’s progression from the first class in September. Holiday Observation is a fun time for the students as well as the staff. From time to time, the Dancing School participates in local dance competitions. We are very fortunate to have very hard-working and dedicated students in these competitions.
The Kathryn Ciminello School of Dance stages its Dance Recitals every other year. We have Dance Demonstrations in our non-Recital years. These performances are always the highlight of our year. They are the culmination of the children’s great work and commitment throughout the year. Our recitals have featured a father/daughter ballet, St. Mark’s High School Choral accompaniment, and an Alumni Tap routine with Moms, Aunts, and friends of former and current students. We have been so lucky to have our Dance Recitals and Demonstrations at St. Mark’s High School.
Kathryn and Tricia would like to acknowledge and thank all of the wonderful students, parents, and extended family we have met, taught, and been privileged to know.
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