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About Dance Institute

Dance Institute at The University of Akron is a pre-professional ballet-based program founded in 1967, nationally recognized for its curriculum which prepares students for careers in both dance performance and dance education. Directed for 28 years by Gena Carroll and for 14 years by her daughter, Lana Carroll Heylock, Dance Institute established a heralded reputation for training and performance excellence. 

The University of Akron is an institutionally accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).


The mission of Dance Institute is to teach dance as an art form for all students, inspiring them to reach their full potential in the dance studio and beyond.


The vision of Dance Institute is to be a leader in dance education in Northeast Ohio while championing the benefits of dance for all learners.  Dance Institute will achieve this through upholding the highest standards in technique + classroom environment, community engagement + outreach performances, and maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere that is conducive to learning. 



Why Choose Dance Institute?

  • Safe, Fun, and Educational Environment
  • Knowledgable,  Experienced Faculty
  • Live Accompaniment for Advanced Classes
  • Nationally Acclaimed Guest Artists
  • Plentiful Performing Opportunities
  • Costumes are Provided
  • Large Technology-Enhanced Studios
  • All Studios have Marley Dance Floor