Dancing for over 15 years, Persephonie is the owner and director of Thrive: The Essence of Dance LLC. She danced competitively at the Seven Star School of Performing Arts and received numerous regional and national scholarships, titles, and awards in the genres of ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, and hip-hop. She also trained with contemporary dance company Pushing Progress under the direction of Chris Hale and Calen J. Kurka where she concentrated on ballet technique, contemporary movement, and the relationship between anatomy and the safe execution of dance steps. Persephonie also studied ballet, jazz, and contemporary at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.
Persephonie is also a graduate of Western Connecticut State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with studies in Theater Performance. While at Western, Persephonie was a featured performer in various dance concerts and musicals. She also performed at venues such as the Danbury Palace Theater, The Blackwatch Cruise Line, and played a supporting role in Pearson Education’s film “Acceptance.” She brings the knowledge of sport psychology to the areas of performance enhancement, stress management, and optimal mind-body relationships.
Persephonie began teaching dance over 8 years ago. As a high school and college student, Persephonie realized her love for teaching and choreographed dances for performances and musicals at Immaculate High School, Bethel High School, Western Connecticut State University, and various dance studios in Connecticut and New York. She has consistently been recognized in the competitive arena with choreography and teacher awards such as “Starpower Dance Challenge Unique Choreography”, “American Dance Awards Young Choreographer of the Year”, and “Hall of Fame Dance Challenge Choreography Award.”
Under Persephonie’s direction and guidance by her wonderful staff, Thrive’s talented competition dancers were recipients of the 2015 Starquest International Performing Arts Competition Petite/Junior Apogee Award in Waterbury, CT- an award for the highest scoring routine at the competition. In only their second year, Persephonie’s dancers exemplified such excellence in their art they were awarded the 2016 ADCC Studio of Excellence Award by Turn It Up Dance Challenge in Bridgeport, CT. Thrive’s competitive girls share the common philosophy of kindness and inclusiveness. They participate in Starquest’s “Competition Kindness” program which promotes positive interactions between dancers from different studios within the competition community.
Along with guiding her dancers through competitions, Persephonie encourages studio participation in charity events and promotes the ideals of commitment, dedication, and persistence on a daily basis. The girls at Thrive participate in the “Dylan’s Wings of Change” program which inspires empathy, compassion, kindness, and acceptance of all children.
Persephonie is also involved with Newtown’s 12.14 Foundation. The foundation aims to strengthen and unite the community, while also facilitating healthy self-expression and leadership through the performing arts. While students engage in theatrical activities, they are taught important life skills that are useful in all areas of life. Among them, are passion, dedication, concentration, and technique, and Persephonie believes in instilling these in all of her students. Dance can benefit the mind, the body, and the soul and Persephonie would like to share these experiences with eager students and performers while contributing to the progression of their natural talents and potential abilities. She hopes to inspire the magic of dance within the community and to cultivate a generation of future dance stars.