By GINNY PRIVITAR

Miss Andrea's Dance Stars opened Aug. 1 in Bearfort Shopping Village in the studio where Planet Dance was previously located.

The studio has been newly painted, the hardwood floors refinished and new furnishings and a TV added to the lobby where parents can wait while their children take classes. There's even a coffee stand for the parents.

Classes start Sept. 11. There will be an official Grand Opening on Sept. 16.

Ruh worked for the previous establishment for 18 years. She's been part of the community for over 20 years and has been teaching for 30. Ruh felt local children still needed a place to dance and thought, "Maybe it's time to have my own business." She is happy to offer dancing and acrobatics to the community and was able to employ the same teachers.

Ruh is a gymnast and well known as a teacher; her specialty is teaching "acro" ‑ acrobatics ‑ a type of gymnastics involving tumbling which is geared toward cheerleading and dancers. She said, "I always had the dream of owning my own business in the back of my head, so it worked out really well."

She noted that there's plenty of parking in Bearfort Village. The daycare center Children's Castle is also there and Miss Andrea's Dance Stars offers pickup from daycare for classes and will return the children back to daycare.

The studio accepts students from pre-school (18 months) to adult. Classes range from movement and coordination to acro; ballet; cheer; contemporary/lyrical; hip hop; jazz; modern and tap. There are parent and child classes that work on coordination using obstacle courses and tumbling and private lessons and birthday parties are also available.

"The benefits of dance and acro are physical, social and educational and foster improved self-esteem. Children who are dedicated dance and acro students usually tend to perform better academically," Ruh said. Team sports are great, but they are not for all children, yet "physically, dance and acro help the body for any sport they want to pursue. It's a great place to start the younger child," she said.

Ruh says dance and acro help students become comfortable with their bodies and build self-confidence. They learn to meet new children and perform in front of an audience, even when they have inhibitions about doing so.

Ruh has three adult children who grew up in West Milford and practiced dance or gymnastics. All are now involved in the arts: son Corey is a musician; daughter Casey sings and daughter Andee is an artist. Ruh said she would like all children to have the opportunity to be introduced to the arts.

If you goMiss Andrea's Dance Stars

1616B Union Valley Rd.

Tel: 973-457-8852

Website: http://www.missandreasdancestars.com

E-mail: missandreasdancestars@gmail.com

Free classes from Aug. 28- Sept. 1.

Registration week of 8/28-9/1:

Monday-Thursday 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.