Arlington, VA

The pandemic forced Adagio Ballet to close in May, but long-time assistant director Jennifer Ferrigno wasn’t ready to give up just yet. Out of the ashes of Adagio Ballet, Ferrigno and Adagio instructor Evelina Petkova have founded the Virginia Dance Conservatory.

“The closing of the business was a shock to us all,” Ferrigno said in an email. “When the announcement became public, we had kids and parents reaching out in tears, completely devastated by the news. [Petkova] and I decided we needed to do something for these kids and families whose lives have been turned upside down.”

Ferrigno said there was support from within the Adagio dance community to try to open a new dance school, despite the pandemic. The program is currently run out of the Knights of Columbus facility at 5115 Little Falls Road.

“It was a nerve wracking decision to make, but with both us and our husbands without work, kids sending us Instagram stories in tears, parents willing to do anything to help, we had to at least try,” Ferrigno said. “Today, two months later, and nothing short of a miracle, we are proud to announce that we have successfully opened Virginia Dance Conservatory in North Arlington.”

The Virginia Dance Conservatory provides classes in ballet, jazz, modern, tap and lyrical for novice through pre-professional dancers with both weekday and weekend class options, according to the school’s website.

As countless other business owners are discovering, Ferrigno is finding that reopening is not easy, and Ferrigno said it’s kept the ballet school owners on their toes.

“Opening a business during a global pandemic is not for the faint of heart,” Ferrigno said. “The only reason our doors are open is through an outpouring of community support and the willingness of so many to help us in one of the worst situations of our lives.

Ferrigno said the school is partnering with the Knights of Columbus to offer classes to their members and to the community at large. A portion of the fall tuition will be donated to the Arlington Community Foundation.

“We are working day and night to get the word out and provide a bit of relief to so many who had their dance home ripped away from them in June,” said Ferrigno. “We are doing what we can to ‘rise from the ashes’ and create a happy & safe place for dance families across North Arlington.”

Photo via Virginia Dance Conservatory/Facebook

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