At Mary Jo’s Performing Arts Academy, we have coined the phrase “it’s so much more than dance.” It helps to point out the growth in our full performing arts curriculum, but more than that, it has given emphasis to the deepening of our MJPAA family. The performing arts are what we do, but the reasons why we do it are what make us different.

If you ask each parent and student why they first came here, you will get many answers. When you ask why they stay and why they love it,  it boils down to the community that is created in our classrooms and on the stage. It starts with great training, respect and discipline, but when you collaborate on a piece of performance art, you truly get to know your fellow performers. From the teacher in the 2 year old classroom or the instructor working with a piano soloist to a large group performing a big number from a popular musical – it builds a community. The parents get in on the act as well by helping backstage and working on costumes and props. Many have even taken the stage themselves in our Grand Ballets. We are creating a unique community that has grown to care and support each other. A community that is enriched and nurtured through the power of the performing arts.

It really is so much more than dance, and it shows in the compassion that has been expressed through our families. This year has been an especially rough year for three of our MJPAA family members who have experienced extensive health issues. However, the Academy has rallied around each of them. We are sharing their stories below with more information and links so that you can read about each one. We want to continue to help spread the word for them in hopes that the greater community can help if they are able. We also want to point out that each one of them has expressed how being a part of the Academy and the community here at MJPAA makes them feel better. We all know that we love to hear our favorite song on the radio; it immediately puts us in a better mood. Studies show this same phenomenon can happen on a larger scale. It is an intrinsic part of the human psyche that participating in the performing arts can help to heal physical ailments. Please read their touching stories at the links below:

Eric Piburn:

Eric Piburn
Eric Piburn



Marinda Davis:

Marinda Davis

Marinda Davis



Abbie Grace Flohr:

Abbie Grace
Abbie Grace Flohr & Facebook-AbbieGrace.Fund

“The creative arts are the measure and reflection of our civilization. They offer many children an opportunity to see life with a larger perspective…The moral values we treasure are reflected in the beauty and truth that is emotionally transmitted through the arts. The arts say something about us to future generations.”  –Ann P. Kahn, Former President of The National PTA

The Performing Arts & Health:  What does the research say?

Research demonstrates that creative arts in healthcare interventions can contribute to the following positive outcomes when services are integrated into medical treatment and community prevention and wellness programs:

  • Reduced lengths of hospital stays
  • Decreased need for multiple medical visits
  • Reduced reports of pain and anxiety related to illness and invasive treatment
  • Increased self-esteem and reductions in stress
  • Reduced healthcare-related infection rates
  • Decreased need for use of sedatives during medical procedures
  • Reduced levels of depression and improvements in quality of life
  • Decreased use of medical interventions covered by Medicare among the aging
    [Taken from the 2013 Legislative Issue Brief: Arts in Health—Strengthening our Nation’s Health through the Arts]

For More Information Read The Healing Power of Performing Arts here: Huffingtonpost-Arts-&-Health