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Our Story

Image by Miguel Ángel Hernández
Image by Olivia Bauso

In The Beginning

Ave Maria Dance Academy was opened by a dancer named Erica and her mother, Mrs. Karen. The suggestion to start dance classes in Ave Maria was presented to them by another mother from the town, Teresa Lester --- may she rest in peace.

Karen and Erica turned Teresa's vision into a reality in October of 2008 when, with the help of one other dance instructor and the use of Donahue Academy's gym, they launched Ave Maria Dance Academy.

Image by ketan rajput

Studio Growth

In 2009, Erica and Karen moved their dance studio to its current location on Annunciation Circle, the town center of Ave Maria, Florida. They increased the number of classes offered, hired more dance instructors, and built a safe space for dancers to flourish.

After 15 years of forming dancers, putting on exceptional performances, and changing lives, Karen and her family decided it was time to pass the studio to a new family.

Image by Naitian(Tony) Wang
Image by Miguel Ángel Hernández

New ownership

In 2023, Karen passed AMDA to the Van Wyk Family. Their daughter, a dancer of 15 years, had joined AMDA two years prior and instantly fell in love with the studio. She, along with her family, was honored and excited to take ownership of the studio.

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