"To dance is to be free..." Olivia
Student Voices, Testimonials and Reviews
Owner and Artistic Director
Olivia Gale has been a dance teacher and choreographer for over thirty years. She received a BA from Florida State University where she studied both Theater and Dance, and became a member of Dance Masters of America in 1983. She has produced, directed and choreographed for colleges and private and public schools as well as professional productions. Her students have ranged in age from three to adult and in technical level from beginning to professional. Some of her students have gone on to become teachers themselves as well as professional performers and choreographers joining the ranks of such professional associations as Actors Equity and The Screen Actors Guild.
"The gift of teaching is to be able to guide someone else along the path to their own dreams., to inspire them and give them the confidence to be all they can be, to give them the skills to express all of who they are and share their light with the world. That is the gift that my teachers gave to me and my sincerest desire has been to pass it on." Olivia Gale
I truly believe that teaching goes beyond just teaching technique and dance steps. It's about building a solid foundation for both body and soul, sharing a passion for what you love that will step outside of the classroom and into a life for a lifetime. When you teach you not only inspire but are in turn inspired by the very people who look to your for guidance. Over the many years I have been teaching dance and theater I have received such wonderful affirmations that my goal was accomplished, to touch a soul and ignite a fire in them that would lead them to their own self expression and success. With every note or letter or poem my heart was made full and my eyes filled with tears. I thank each and everyone of them for the gift of themselves they have given me. It's my hope that some of what I write here will continue to inspire others to keep reaching for their dreams.
I've had the privilege of teaching Jazz at Orlando Ballet's Senior Summer Intensive for Nine Years and during that time have worked with some truly amazing young people. Michelle Pressler was one of them. I recognized the true soul of a dancer immediately. She breathed life into my choreography the as I envisioned it. My daughter Chelsea once said, "It's always interesting to see other people dance your choreography because I know what it's supposed to look like." Michelle danced it the way it was supposed to look like. After the intensive I received a letter from her that I will cherish always.
Letter from Michelle Pressler
Dear Ms. Olivia Gale,
I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful experience this summer. You have opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that dance has to offer. Being surrounded by ballet in a body that doesn't fit the typical ballerina body, my hopes of dancing professionally have always been pretty pessimistic. That's why I'm so grateful to have met you this summer. Now I see that there is so much more out there than just getting into a ballet company. I had kind of a late start dancing and I've always been afraid that, that would hold me back. In seeing how successful you are and have been, even with a late start, I've found so much more confidence in myself and my dreams. The passion that you show for dancing and teaching has really inspired me. I've begun dancing for myself again and truly enjoying dancing. Your classes have been the best reminder of why I love dancing so much. Your choreography is so powerful and so much fun to dance. You've made a lasting impression on me and I'd love to hear about anything new and exciting you're doing. Thanks again for a great summer and I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors. Michelle Presler
"Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another."
Michelle auditioned and was accepted into the dance program at the University of Arizona in Tucson where she continues to study and dance. Photos are of her dancing on the stage of the Hall of Fame Dance Challenge.
When I came to Perry, Florida fresh out of the Theater and Dance Department at FSU, I found an amazing group of young people incredibly talented and starved for the arts, especially Theater and Dance. That's when I opened my performing arts studio and as well began working with the North Florida Junior College Theater in Madison Florida. I became David Carlton's teacher and mentor when he was 11 years old. David was a brilliant young man that went on to study Musical Theater and Dance at Florida State at 15 years Old. We became life long friends. He told me once "When you came to town you made it OK to be me". David's powerful singing voice blew everyone away. He once told me, "I dance from my heart but sing from my soul." We lost David to this world in October of 2009. All those who's lives he touched so deeply feel his loss today and always. He left us all with incredible memories.
David's gave this quote to me...
"You're the woman who dressed me in black patent leather tap shoes and a silver sequined vest and unleashed me onto the limitless stage of dance. I've been dancing in one way or another ever since. My treasured dance pictures are a testament to the work I poured into something you introduced me to. We both found out at a young enough age that dancing can set you free in a way other forms of performing can't. You helped make me a triple threat... that is incredible and has only enhanced the level of my abilities." David Carlton
A triple threat indeed...David was an actor, singer, dancer as well as a creative choreographer who performed in musical theater, theater, film, commercials and print ads. He was a member of Actors Equity