Mantia Sisters Dance Academy Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

The Mantia Sisters Dance Academy will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in the city of Revere in September.

Deanne Mantia, 51, and her sister, Jodi Mantia, 54, briefly operated the studio in a building on Broadway before moving to its current location at 750 Washington Ave.

“My sister realized that we needed a bigger space because we were way busier than we had expected to be,” said Deanne.

And the Dance Academy’s instant popularity in 1991 has carried on through the three decades in which the Mantia sisters’ thousands of students have learned not only how to dance, but that dancing and dance performances (such as the annual recital) builds up one’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and teamwork.

Several Mantia Academy graduates have also used the skills acquired in dance to help their athletic careers in the areas of coordination, balance, stamina, and fitness.

Starting a studio

Jodi Mantia and Deanne Mantia of are the daughters of Jimmy and Teddi (Theodora) Mantia. Jodi  graduated from Revere High in 1985. Deanne Mantia graduated from Revere High in 1987 and attended UMass/Boston. The sisters both spent their K-8 years at the Abraham Lincoln School.

“Our parents actually gave us the money to open the studio,” recalled Deanne. “And they’re still living in the house [on Rumney Road] that my grandfather [Joe Palermo] built them.”

The Mantia Sisters were introduced to dance at the Betty Murray School of Dance on Conant Street.

“We both started dance lessons at two years old and we were performing in recitals every year,” said Deanne.

The tradition of recitals

The Mantia Sisters Dance Academy held its recital last Saturday at Revere High School, concluding an unprecedented year amidst the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was our first recital at Revere High in many years,” related Deanne. “We had been holding the recitals in Melrose but the [Revere High] auditorium and sound system have been upgraded and it’s gorgeous. It’s all brand new. The recital at Revere High was amazing.”

The Academy will begin its 2021-22 season in September. Registration is ongoing and the number of new and returning students is very good. Classes are available in such disciplines as hip hop, modern, jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap, Zumba, and gymnastics. 

“We’re confident that it’s going to be a good year,” said Deanne.

Reflecting on 30 years of dance

Looking back on the 30 years of the Mantia Sisters Dance Academy’s existence and speaking on behalf of her sister, Deanne said, “It’s been beyond rewarding. We love teaching dance to kids. For me, it’s my art form, it’s my medium. Some people like to paint, some people like to draw, some people like to play musical instruments. I like to dance.”

Sharing the stage with her sister through the years, Deanne added, “It’s been great. We’re very close. We don’t always see eye to eye, but we always come to a mutual agreement.”

The sisters do agree wholeheartedly that Revere has always been in their hearts and will continue to be for many years to come.

“Our roots are in Revere and the community that we love is in Revere and we love being with the families of Revere,” said Deanne. “And we love to see how diverse Revere has become.

“We’re not ready to stop. I thought that maybe we’d think about it, talk it over and say, ‘We’ve had a great run’. We’ve had thousands of kids come through our door. We now have the grandkids of some our first students taking dance lessons from us. It’s so nice to see that a generation later, they’re coming back to us,” concluded Deanne.

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