Modern dance is part of the Innovative Dance Academy curriculum. Putting it into motion are LeeAnn Bushar, Ashley Wysocki, Danielle Milano, Mara Ranson, Clara Fischer and Rachel Ehret. Submitted photo.

The small building at 25 Lexington Ave. in Ewing, in an industrial park, may seem like an unlikely place for a dance studio. But inside, mirrors and handrails line the walls, and for 20 years, children of all ages have learned to dance.

Innovative Dance Academy founder Regina Littwin still teaches there. The academy trains students as young as 2, and of all talent levels from enthusiastic amateurs to budding professionals.

In those 20 years, Littwin said, she has trained hundreds of students. Now, as the studio turns two decades old, the teaching staff of the school is increasing with the addition of former Rockette Michelle Tolson, teaching tap, and specializing in the art of turns and leaps.

She joins a diverse cast of teachers, including Ewing resident and former IDA student Amy Varga, and Ulzii Davaadorj, a ballet teacher who trained with the Ballet College of Mongolia. (Ulzii has a reputation as the most rigorous instructor, Littwin said.)

Travis Breen, a professional dancer and choreographer is a New York resident who dances and choreographs there.

The many New York credentials among the teachers is no accident. Littwin said the Dance Academy, despite its relatively small size, is able to bring a lot of New York expertise to Ewing residents.

Littwin still teaches too, though she leaves the newer dance styles to the younger teachers.

Littwin said the academy has changed with the times, and now teaches hip-hop dance, an energetic form that may seem less disciplined than ballet, but still requires a lot of hard work to learn.

She said many students come to the school to learn hip-hop, only to become hooked on dancing and move on to ballet or tap.

They are also one of the smaller schools to teach modern dance, she said.

In competitions involving larger, better-funded schools from around the region, Innovative Dance Academy holds its own, and brings home a slew of medals and trophies in modern dance and other categories, Littwin said.

Innovative Dance Academy performs at many community events throughout the year, including the Ewing Independence Day Parade and a special performance for residents of the Care One nursing home.

For more information, contact Regina Littwin or Sharon Wysocki at (609) 530-0979 or visit innovativedanceacademy.com.

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Diccon Hyatt is business editor of U.S. 1. He has worked for Community News since 2006 and was previously community editor of the Ewing Observer, the Hopewell Express, the Lawrence Gazette, and the Trenton Downtowner. From 2003 to 2006, he was a general assignment reporter for the Middletown Transcript in Middletown, Delaware. In 2002, he graduated from the University of Delaware, where he was features editor of the student newspaper, The Review. He has won numerous awards from the Maryland-Delaware D.C. Press Association and the Association of Free Community Newspapers for features, news, and opinion writing. He is married and lives in Marlton, NJ.