Laura Hodge, Dance Instructor

Laura teaches Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre Kids, Pre-Dance, and Fitness. Laura was owner, Artistic and Education Director of Pittsbugh Dance & Theatre Arts, Helios Arts, and Ampersand Dance Theater, all in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Under Ms. Hodge's dynamic supervision, companies won numerous awards for excellence in their fields. Laura believes that a dedication to creativity, proper training, and artistic integrity is what sets a higher standard. Laura has studied with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Point Park University, and various companies in New York, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Laura lived in Southern California for eight years where she performed on stage, as well as screen, and television. While in San Diego, and L.A., she taught, choreographed, did voice-overs, acted for film and television, toured the West Coast and performed at a variety of venues. She has choreographed for and performed with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and toured with National Theatre for Children among many others. With the Malashock & Dance Co. , she taught Emotions in Motion in Balboa Park, and classes for severely disabled children. As part of the Junior Seau program in collaboration with San Diego Jr. Theatre she taught “Poetry in Motion”, and Dance Theatre to troubled and “at-risk” teens at the Toussant Teen Center in San Diego. Pittsburgh past and recent credits include Founder, Artistic Director, Producer, and Principal Dancer for Ampersand Dance Theatre. Also she acted as Ballet Mistress and Principle Dancer for the Physical Theatre Project, performed touring shows with the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, taught for Point Park University, University of Pittsburgh master class series, the Brashear Association, the Jewish Community Center, Sacred Heart Academy, Winchester Thurston School, and the Ellis School. Ms. Hodge and husband Christopher Mattick were awarded as 2 of “40 under 40 ( years old)” Pittsburgh entrepreneurs to watch by Pittsburgh Magazine.. In 2002, Ms. Hodge created a diverse theatrical event titled, “Pulse”. In this production she brought together numerous Pittsburgh artists to one stage for a weekend show that changed each night. 13 local bands ranging from punk rock icons, glam rock, rockabilly, to old bluesman, “Chizmo Charles, The bands performed live and their music was choreographed by Ms. Hodge, and performed by The Ampersand Dance Theatre. There were also live “performance” painters , and other arts media. For bringing so many local artists together, The City of Pittsburgh awarded a day in her honor, and a Proclamation of “Pulse” day. Ampersand Dance Theater was invited to perform Ms. Hodge's choreography at "Hot Pink", the women's cancers benefit, held at the Byham Theater Downtown Pittsburgh. In February, 2005, Pittsburgh Dance Arts performed on the “Pittsburgh Today” Show. Laura recently did the voice over for the Magee Women's Hospital website.

Ms. Hodge, believes in artistic integrity while engaging to students to explore their creativity in a nurturing environment. She believes that the arts are a wonderful outlet for expression, creativity, and new ideas, and integral to growth and development, and also to life.