Mary Jo Scanio is the owner and Director of Mary Jo’s Performing Arts Academy, Artistic Director of Universal Movement Performing Arts Company, and Artistic Director of Tampa Bay Triple Threat Theatre. Her Academy is noted on a national level for superior training in the performing arts. Her background includes a Fine Arts Degree from the University of South Florida with concentrations in Dance Performance and Choreography.  She is a certified Pilates and Zumba Instructor and Personal Trainer.

Her performing credits include local, regional and national company productions, performing with artists such as Ben Vereen and Ann Reinking.  She performed with the Florida Ballet Theater, Tampa Jazz Company and Florida Jazz Dance Ensemble.  She was an NCAA dancer for USF as well as an NFL Cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Mary Jo is a certified national examiner and the past Area Director of Dance Masters of America. She was Director of the Miss and Mr. Dance Pageant representing Florida and now serves as a regional examiner.  She has judged for regional and national dance, talent and cheerleading competitions throughout the United States and Canada.

As a choreographer, she has received many honors and her work has been invited into festivals and congresses throughout the country. She has choreographed and taught for the Super Bowl, NFL teams, NCAA dance teams, Industrials, National Commercials, Television and Fashion Shows. She was an adjunct professor for the USF Dance Dept. and has served as a guest teacher at conventions, seminars, workshops, schools and companies throughout the country. Mary Jo has been featured in dance periodicals for her educational philosophies and views, as well as for Academy’s success.

Many of her students have gone on to pursue professions in dance and the performing arts, including dancing on Broadway, at theme parks, on cruise ships, with Cirque, as Rockettes, on television and commercials.  Several are professional choreographers, teachers and directors in the industry.

More than 35 years ago Mary Jo envisioned creating an environment that would allow students of all ages to learn and celebrate the arts.  Today, under her tutelage, her dancers and Mary Jo’s Performing Arts Academy are recognized among the top in the nation.