May 19, 2013

USA: It Will Be Taps For Studio City Dance Academy If Investors Can’t Raise $1M for The American National Academy of Performing Arts

CBS news, Los Angeles
written by Staff
Saturday May 11, 2013

STUDIO CITY — The American National Academy of Performing Arts is in danger of closing.

The popular landmark dance studio in Studio City is to be auctioned off on May 17th.

Dorothy Barrett, 96, co-owns and runs the non-profit group.

Barrett says she had no idea her former co-owner sold his share of the business more than 20 years ago.

The Academy, and its fans and supporters, are trying to raise $1 million to keep the operation running and buy out the current co-owner.

Barrett is a dancing icon who called Bob Hole, Joan Crawford and Fred Astaire her close friends.

She started the American National Academy 50 years ago. She’s lived in the upstairs apartment for more than four decades.

But KCAL9′s Brittney Hopper reports that’s all about to change. “It looks like they’re going to sell the building and I have no where to go,” says Barrett.

The Academy has been a home away from home for thousands of young girls over the years. It’s been a place for budding celebrities: Oscar-winner Helen Hunt, Erin Sanders (“Zoey 101″) and Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren, “The Young and the Restless”) to name just three.

Current student Simona Vishnevsky, said if the school closes, “It would mean losing my home. This is the only dance school I’ve ever come to and I come here every Saturday. I’d be heartbroken if this school closes.”

They’re trying to raise money to buy out the investor who owns 50 percent of the building. They’ve only raised a few thousand dollars.. Cathy Wilkinson started at the academy when she was 10. She now volunteers her time as an instructor. “To me this is everything she has ever worked for in her whole life.”

Hopper reports, if they can’t reach agreement with the co-owner, they will try and find another location for the school.

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