Linda M. D'Amico

Letter from Linda M. D'Amico

My retirement recital celebration, "Tribute To Our Mentors", is one of the greatest high lights
of my life. The performance by my daughter Linda Rose and TJ has left my heart permanently

I have been so obsessed with making sure that all the traditions of the academy remain
intact after retirement, that I forgot how change in the right direction is always necessary for
success. The changes implemented in the past 2 years, at the academy have produced a more
dynamic team of dancers both recreational and competitive. I thank our new director, Linda
Rose and our dynamic staff, Cathy Giuffre, Janine Dayson, TJ Miller, Lynsey Price, Hannah
Castoro, Linda Murray, Sandy Struble, Cara Diaz Certosimo, and Carlos Ariasas, for their
spectacular expertise. You, the parents and student body of the Academy who have shared my
love of dance and song for 38 years will always be held close to my heart. I will always dance
and sing through our students and Academy staff till the day I die. So as not to be morbid I will
dance and sing through many, many more students through the years.

My dance journey started when I was 4 years old, living in South Euclid, Ohio and diagnosed
with children's arthritis. Doctors said I had to dance or swim so I would start walking again.
Dance was chosen. My mom and dad are watching over me now and without their sacrifices I
would not be at this position in my life. Mom made all my costumes by hand and everybody
else's to earn money to pay for my dance classes and dad installed a gorgeous dance floor for
my dance teacher, Charlotte Teller, to also support my love of dance. Charlotte gave me an
apprenticeship and nurtured my teaching abilities. My siblings always supported me but
adamantly begged me not to sing and dance on my way to school or at 9 pm when everyone
was trying to settle down for the night. Before graduating high school I had the honor of
performing Maria in Sound of Music, Odette in Swan Lake and choreographed for high school
musicals. After high school graduation I did summer stock performances in Brigadoon, West
Side Story, Oklahoma, Bye Bye Birdie, Gypsy and Annie Get Your Gun. I also taught ballroom
at Arthur Murray Studios. My parents allowed me to study in NY, maybe to become a star, if
possible. I was thrilled to pursue my love of dance and song in NY at June Taylor Dance Studios
which is now Broadway Dance Center and ballet arts of NY. But, there I met my husband
Richard and that's when my stardom commenced. Besides marrying into a very supportive
family, I gave birth to 2 of my blessings, Richie and Jason, opened the Academy and continued
on with my performing dreams by performing at Wayne Musical Theater, as Sara Brown in Guys
and Dolls, Hello Dolly, 1776, Maria in Sound of Music again and under the direction of Kim
Chorba, I played the reverend Mother in Nunsense. I continued teaching ballroom at Wayne and
Pequannock Adult school, taught music at Holy Spirit School while assisting Maureen Piccoli
with the children's choir at Holy Spirit Church and brought our Pre-K dance program to
neighboring Pre-K school But LDAD is my legacy and without my husband's love and devotion
there would be no LDAD. Eleven years after my first son I gave birth to my 3rd son, Jim. My
sons have worked very hard to keep the Academy up to date with the latest technology (not that
I understand it all ha ha ) and for giving me inspiration during difficult times, Jason as Web
developer, Jim as IT expert and Richie my motivator. We are a family orientated business for
sure. Linda Rose came along 20 years after our first son. I believe my family and friends know
what happened after that. She is continuing my dream as she adds her own dream of
performing, to her life ambitions.

God bestowed upon me all these graces and gifts. I now have a loving daughter in law and
grandchildren, Sarah and Steven. I am anxiously anticipating another daughter-in-law and son -
in-law. We all have our own special graces and gifts no matter the walk of life in which we are. I
retire with my husband now, peacefully enjoying our next stage of life. If I may use the infamous
thought of Lou Gehrig, " I am the luckiest woman alive".

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