Donna Schipani Owner/Director
In September of 1986 Miss Schipani opened the Academy in the Hampstead Town Gym, just two days a week with only 50 students. The Academy has now grown to accommodate students from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Donna is a certified and fully accredited member of the Boston Dance Teachers Club, Dance Masters of America and the National Dance Council of America.
A dance educator for over 40 years, Ms. Schipani has extensive training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, and Lyrical dance. She has studied with such notable instructors as Eleanor Rubino, Mandy Moore, Travis Wall, Twitch, Ray Leeper, Allison Holker to name a few. Miss Schipani exposes her students to a variety of workshops and conventions to expand and broaden their knowledge in dance and to prepare them for what ever avenue in the Performing Arts they wish to pursue. Donna prepares her students for Professional Auditions, College Auditions, Dance Teams and Community Theatre Auditions. Donna also offers Teacher Assistant Training opportunities for those wanting a career as a Dance Instructor. Her students have performed at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida on 5 separate occasions and return every four years. We have performed at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, NH, the Monarchs Hockey Games, Recycled Percussion, Fisher Cats as well as several community events.
Here at the Academy we strive to have well educated, certified and very dedicated staff who will instill their passion of dance with your child. We offer an atmosphere where every student will feel safe and comfortable. It is our goal to have your child Be The Best They Can Be.
Students of the Academy are Regional and National Dance Champions and several have gone on to professional dance companies as well as careers in major motion pictures and television. (Please read our Alumni accomplishments below)
Students of the Academy have volunteered their services for innumerable community and school programs for the Arts including: Atkinson Library Enrichment Day, St. Catherine’s Church Musical Theatre Camp in Nashua, Student Enrichment Day at Danville Elementary School, Timberlane Regional High School Career Day, St. Anne’s Summer Craft Festival-Hampstead, Sandown Old Home Days and the Miss Hampstead Pageant, and Move 4 the Movement a charity benefit for Breast Cancer Research.
Miss Schipani is the past Secretary/Treasurer and Membership Chairperson to Dance Masters of America and held the position of stage manager to the Miss Massachusetts Program—a preliminary to Miss America— for 11 years. Donna established both the HDA Performing Arts Co. as well as the Northeast Performing Arts Co. Both companies represent the Academy and allows dance students the opportunity to perform as part of their dance training.
The Hampstead Dance Academy was awarded the Top Studio Award in both the Dance USA and Sophisticated Production Regional events and Miss Donna, herself, was awarded the Class Act [Teachers] Teacher Award for her dedication to her students.
HDA Alumni who have gone on to pursue their dance careers
Natalie Livingston | Studied with HDA 15 years
Natalie is currently a student at The Hart School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Hartford Conn. where she is pursuing her BFA in Musical Theatre. In 2015 Natalie was crowned Teen Miss Dance Ovations. Natalie is spending her summer at PDP, a professional theatre company located in Portsmouth, NH. She is currently playing Maggie in Chorus Line, and playing Marcy in The 25th Annual Putnam County spelling Bee.
Isabel Povey | Current Student going on 13 years
Isabel Povey, has taken the many valuable skills she’s learned in the studio to many other experiences. Currently holding the title of Miss Seacoast’s Outstanding Teen, and formerly Miss Exeter’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Kingston’s Outstanding Teen, Isabel has been making her mark in the Miss America Scholarship Organization. This year she placed in the top 12, earned the scholastic achievement award, community service award, and overall interview award at the Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen competition. At age 14 she is a published author and was recently nationally recognized for her dedication to community service. She traveled to Washington, DC for the Prudential Spirit Of Community Awards as the New Hampshire Honoree. She has donated over 2,000 pounds of food to the New Hampshire Food Bank alone, and has also worked tirelessly with countless other organizations throughout the country and even overseas. Isabel is grateful for what the staff at Hampstead Dance Academy has taught her- for she believes her drive to help and care for others was sparked by the values instilled in the dance room such as dedication to reaching goals, teamwork, and simply kindness and poise.
Christine Dulong | Studied with HDA 14 years
A graduate of the University of NH with a B.A. in Musical Theater, Christine toured with The Center of the Arts in Quakertown, PA and was in productions of Grease, Footloose and Chicago. Christine was also a cast member with the Seacoast Repertory Theater for several years.
Jay Reynolds, Jr. | Studied with HDA 14 years
A graduate of Northwestern University in Illinois Jay studied voice, drama, dance, and musical theater and ranked as top tenor in the state of NH for the two consecutive years. Jay was in the national touring company of Broadway’s Wicked! He has dance captained and performed professionally at numerous reputable theaters throughout the country. Jay starred in the Chicago production of A Chorus Line under the direction of Broadway’s original cast member, Mitzi Hamilton.
Keri Lynn Pratt | Studied with HDA 11 years
A major motion picture and TV star, Keri Lynn Pratt has appeared in numerous well-known productions, including The Help, Drive Me Crazy, Joan of Arcadia, Law and Order , Cruel Intentions 2, Fat Albert, House M.D., Bones, C.S.I., Smallville, That 70’s Show and many other well known titles. Keri Lynn was Miss Teen New Hampshire as well as Miss NH National Teenager.