08/25/18 6:04am
08/25/2018 6:04 AM

As children, wearing tutus and ballerina slippers, skip through the doors of Main Stage Dance Academy in Greenport next month to begin a new dance season, everything will look the same.

The blue sign on the white building will still be there. The wood floor beneath their feet will be the same one they’ve leaped across for years. 

But one major part of the business will be different — its owner. READ

09/29/17 6:00am

Following the devastating natural disasters around the world this past month, including four major hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria — that have hit Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more, people are coming out in droves to help.


12/22/13 2:30pm
12/22/2013 2:30 PM

MAIN STAGE DANCE ACADEMY COURTESY PHOTOS | Main Stage Dance Academy students visited the Rockettes in Manhattan last Sunday.

Main Stage Dance Academy students took a dance class with The Rockettes last Sunday before watching the holiday performance at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.

The dance school’s owner and former Rockette Lucille Naar-Saladino described the two-hour class as a great opportunity for her students to learn more about the professional dancers’ techniques, including their famous kick-line routine.

Scroll down to see some of the photos from the city trip. For more information about Ms. Naar-Saladino’s dance school in Greenport, visit www.mainstagedanceacademy.com.


09/28/13 5:00pm
09/28/2013 5:00 PM
MAIN STAGE DANCE ACADEMY COURTESY PHOTO | Lucille Naar-Saladino teaching in her new space above her Greenport studio. The owner of Main Stage Dance Academy expanded her business space in order to offer more classes and new programs.

MAIN STAGE DANCE ACADEMY COURTESY PHOTOS | Lucille Naar-Saladino teaching in her new space above her Greenport studio. The owner of Main Stage Dance Academy expanded her business space in order to offer more classes and new programs.

Some dancers in Greenport not only have more room to stretch their limbs, they also have new instructional opportunities to help them perfect their talents.

That’s because Main Stage Dance Academy on Main Road in Greenport recently expanded into the building’s second floor. Owner Lucille Naar-Saladino said she’s excited about the new space because she’ll be able to offer more sections of popular dance classes and new programs, including theater arts and yoga for kids.

In addition to the new programs, Ms. Naar-Saladino’s studio offers Broadway babies, kids’ cheer, ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical and acrobatics, as well as private lessons.

While the second floor had been vacant since she opened her studio six years ago, Ms. Naar-Saladino said she’s always had her eye on it and reached an agreement with her landlord, Southold Town Trustee Michael Domino, this summer to expand her business. Since then, the nearly 1,000-square-foot space has been painted and a wood floor was installed. She also purchased a MirrorLite, which is portable and feels like plastic wrap to the touch.

“Last year, I had three or four classes close,” Ms. Naar-Saladino said during a recent interview. “We cap classes at about 12 students. I had a waiting list and I had to make sure I didn’t turn anyone down this year.”

Before starting her teaching career that spans over 30 years, the Queens native’s love of dance began when she was about 5 or 6 years old. One summer, while playing in a playground, she noticed dancers wearing pink tights and black leotards standing in the open doorway of a nearby dance studio.

“I looked at my mother and said ‘I want to do that. I want to dance,’ ” Ms. Naar-Saladino recalled.


Ms. Naar-Saladino with her dance class.

After graduating from the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan (now known as LaGuardia Arts), she danced as a Rockette before moving to Nevada and performing in Reno and Las Vegas shows. Ms. Naar-Saladino also danced on tour with the Broadway show “42nd Street.” She later returned to Manhattan, decided to change careers and became the director of catering at the historic Algonquin Hotel in midtown.

After meeting her husband, John, she then moved to Greenport, where he lived, and decided to get back into dancing. At first, Ms. Naar-Saladino rented space in local churches to teach dance classes. Then, in 2008, Mr. Saladino suggested she open her own school.

“I said, ‘Are you crazy?,’ ” Ms. Naar-Saladino recalled about the conversation that took place during the height of the country’s financial meltdown. With her husband’s support, and seeing there was a need for a dance school in the area, Ms. Naar-Saladino decided to go for it.

In addition to having her students march in local parades and participate in community events, Ms. Naar-Saladino has also become involved in helping with Greenport School District’s theater program. In April, the district agreed to install a cyclorama curtain — a white screen that’s used as a stage backdrop to change scenery and create atmosphere through the use of projected images — after she submitted a proposal to split the $5,000 cost.

Ms. Naar-Saladino said dance is important because she believes people benefit from the art form’s discipline and structure.

“Myself and my teachers lead with an iron fist and a velvet glove,” she said. “We’re tough with the kids as far as their dance training, but on the other hand, they have a great time and have fun. It’s very rewarding.”

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05/15/13 1:00pm
05/15/2013 1:00 PM

There’s nothing like salsa and sangria to spice up the middle of the week.

Starting tonight, Lucharitos Taqueria & Tequila Bar is partnering with Main Stage Dance Academy to bring “Salsa, Salsa & Sangria” night to Greenport. The event offers patrons a chance to learn to how to salsa dance while enjoying complimentary sangria and chips and salsa.

“There is not an experience in life that Latin dancing can’t make better,” Main Stage Dance Academy director Lucille Naar-Saladino said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Since opening in January, restaurant owner Marc LaMaina has been organizing special events that reflect Mexican culture. He hopes to make “Salsa, Salsa & Sangria” night an ongoing event in the village.

“This is a great fit,” he said about the partnership with Main Stage Dance Academy. “Teaming up with another business in Greenport is wonderful.”

Main Stage Dance Academy instructor Lia Daniele will teach the half-hour class starting at 9:30 p.m. at 
Lucharitos, located at 119 Main St.
 in Greenport. Ms. Daniele teaches ballet, jazz and hip-hop at the academy and specializes in Latin dancing, Ms. Naar-Saladino, said.

The event costs $20 and is opened to singles and couples of any skill level. Space is limited. Customers are asked to RSVP by posting on the event’s Facebook wall.

[email protected]

04/27/13 2:00pm
04/27/2013 2:00 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Greenport Superintendent Michael Comanda (left) celebrates the installation of a new high-tech theater curtain with Main Stage Dance Academy owner Lucille Naar-Saladino, the district’s technology coordinator Joe Capuano and elementary school principal Joseph Tsaveras.

Theatrical performances at Greenport School District’s newly restored 1930s auditorium are about to become quite stunning.

A white screen called a cyclorama curtain was installed as a backdrop to the stage earlier this month and will be used to change scenery and create atmosphere through the use of projected images.

In September, Lucille Naar-Saladino, owner of Main Stage Dance Academy in Greenport, approached the school district with a proposal to split the $5,000 cost of a cyclorama curtain. Ms. Naar-Saladino, a former Radio City Rockette, moved from Manhattan to Greenport about six years ago.

“Coming from the city, it’s great to find a group of people that are interested in making big things happen ,” she said. “I love Greenport.”

Superintendent Michael Comanda said he’s pleased with the joint effort because the district wouldn’t have been able to purchase the curtain on its own. He’s convinced the shared purchase will result in professional-level theatrical opportunities.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” he said. “It’s an example of how being open to working together can accomplish bigger and better things.”

Performances scheduled for next month, including the school’s talent show and the dance academy’s annual recital, will be the first to make use of the new curtain.

Ms. Naar-Saladino said she fell in love with Green-port’s vintage auditorium when she first held a recital there about two years ago. After her second performance, she said she felt the stage’s black background needed to be changed.

“It was a little thorn in my side,” she said. “As a creative person, I’m always trying to see the perfect vision for a show. I wanted to give it a professional touch.”

The cyclorama curtain, which is used during some Broadway performances, is the latest addition to Greenport’s newly restored auditorium.

Last year, the district held a ribbon-cutting at the completion of the auditorium restoration project, which included replacing the roof and repairing the leaky ceiling, replacing portions of the stage that buckled due to water damage and restoring over 620 seats.

The district’s technology coordinator, Joe Capuano, who also owns the sound system rental and installation business JC Productions in Green-port, said students are excited about the high-tech curtain. The Green-port grad said he spent most of his high school years in the auditorium and believes the latest enhancement will give students a chance to create something that theatergoers experience on Broadway.

“This is my room and it will always have a special place in my heart,” he said. “Anything that we can do to further this room — make it more beautiful, make it better, enhance performances — I’m 110 percent on board.”

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11/02/10 4:29pm
11/02/2010 4:29 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO Main Stage Dance Academy owner Lucille Naar-Saladino of Greenport challenged the Southold Board of Education at its Oct. 27 meeting to reverse its new policy barring the rental of the junior-senior high school auditorium for dance recitals.

All they want is to dance. But it’s where they want to dance that may be a problem.
Main Stage Dance Academy owner Lucille Naar-Saladino of Greenport challenged the Southold Board of Education at its Oct. 27 meeting to reverse its new policy barring the rental of the junior-senior high school auditorium for dance recitals.
It has been Ms. Naar-Saladino’s venue of choice in past years. But after the floor was refinished this summer, board members decided they owe it to Southold taxpayers to cut back on the activities they allow in the auditorium.
That left Ms. Naar-Saladino out in the cold when she inquired about booking the auditorium for a recital in June.
Ms. Naar-Saladino said the district’s educational goals meshed with her own efforts to teach dance “in a positive, supportive and nurturing environment … to enlighten, excite and stimulate our students so they gain confidence and have fun as they learn. We hope that the discipline of dance, as well as the freedom to express themselves, will help all students in other areas of their lives.”
Of the 100 students she teaches, 45 are Southold students, she said. She has volunteered as choreographer for the school’s productions of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Oliver,” giving more time to Southold than her home district of Greenport, she said.
Last year, her recital packed the 605-seat auditorium because it was not only a convenient venue for students and parents but it provided entertainment for area residents at $16 per ticket, Ms. Naar-Saladino said. Students also get pleasure from performing at their own school, she said.
At the same time, she proposed products that would help to protect the stage floor and offered to pay a price that would not only cover expenses for lighting, janitorial services and other costs, but also premium that could be put into a fund to cover maintenance of the stage.
Just how much that might be is something that would have to be worked out if the board decided to reverse its policy.
“I think it warrants conversation,” board president Paulette Ofrias said. At the same time, she noted the decision to bar dance groups from holding recitals wasn’t reached easily. If the board opened the facility to Ms. Naar-Saladino, it would have to do the same for other dance academies, members agreed.
The process of changing the policy would take a few months even if the board agreed immediately to do it, Ms. Ofrias said. That could mean a decision might not be reached in time for Ms. Naar-Saladino to count on the space for 2011, she said.
Board members agreed to consider Ms. Naar-Saladino’s appeal and report back to her at a later date.
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