Talk of the Town: Deborah Skinner and the Academy of Performing Arts

It’s time to glide our way into the next installment of our Talk of the Town series. Meet Deborah Skinner, dancer, choreographer, teacher and owner of the Academy of Performing Arts in downtown Tracy.

When Deborah first moved here from the Bay Area, she had a young family and a passion for dance, with over twenty years of experience studying, performing and honing her craft. That’s when she answered a classified ad placed by the City of Tracy’s Parks and Recreation Program and got the job. This planted the seed that would grow into the Academy, with over 650 dancers.

Since Deborah first started with a few students in 1993, her attention and standards to training are even greater now. With a vision to bring only the best in dance education combined with a passion for the arts, the Academy offers various classes to children, teens and adults of any skill level.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Deborah, “It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be a professional dancer or a mom who wants to learn how to tap. We have space for everyone.”

With classes like ballet, jazz, modern and hip-hop, there are plenty of opportunities to get in on the fun. That is until it comes to buying tickets to their fast-selling shows. The Children’s Dance Theater once broke attendance records with multiple nights of sold-out performances of The Nutcracker at The Grand.

If you dream of dancing in bright lights, the first step is to check out the many classes, which not only provide a foundation for dance but a footing for life.

“I find that dance brings so much joy to a lot of people. It’s a way to express yourself when you don’t have words. It’s a way to get rid of anxiety. It’s a way to focus. It’s a way to learn self-discipline—especially during those teenage years. It’s really important to have an outlet…the kids’ dance friends will be their friends for life.”

Check out the video to learn more, then look for Deborah at the Academy of Performing Arts. She’ll be the one doing what it takes, inspiring others to dance, or applauding vigorously before taking a bow at the next curtain call.

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