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About Us

About the Dance Studio

All of us at DANCE WITH MARA are thrilled to be celebrating the studio’s 33rd anniversary. Classes continue to be offered in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, acro, musical theatre and lyrical. 


Our aim continues to be to make every student’s experience a positive one by fostering individual progress, encouraging creativity and building strength and confidence. If your child simply loves to dance - they will flourish in our pressure-free, positive environment. We do not participate in competitions and exams are not offered in our curriculum. All students at DANCE WITH MARA have the opportunity to participate in our annual year end recital at the Richmond Hill Theatre.


About the School Philosophy

Dance is an art and not a sport.  How graceful, how strong and how beautifully a student dances is merely a personal opinion. When children in dance are judged, selected or not selected for competitions and then graded – the art and soul of dance is often lost. Many students from competitive studios come to DANCE WITH MARA because they are stressed out, have little confidence in themselves and sadly, have lost their passion for dance.  Here, all students are treated with respect, given equal opportunities and plenty of encouragement and praise. They are all challenged and encouraged to reach their highest potential. As a result, DANCE WITH MARA produces confident, passionate dancers who are proud of themselves.


DANCE WITH MARA has a yearend recital showcasing all students every May. The recital always has one theme that encompasses all classes and all levels. Our grand finale at the end of the show is always very well received  because it includes all students. 


The atmosphere at the studio is positive, happy and full of enthusiasm. The walls at the studio are covered with photos of our beautiful, talented and confident students. Our windows are not adorned with trophies and medals, we don't play sports here.... we dance!!

About the Artistic Director

Mara H. Orrico, the owner and Artistic Director of DANCE WITH MARA, is a graduate of York University’s Fine arts program where she earned her BFA honours specializing in dance in April of 1991. She currently resides in Vaughan with her husband and three children.


Having studied ballet, pointe, tap and jazz at various studios since the age of five, Mara fell in love with the art of dance. She began teaching over 30 years ago in Vaughan. At first, she specialized in creative ballet for children under 6 and then began exploring other dance forms for older children, teens and young adults. Her passion for creativity and her desire to help children develop confidence through dance lead her to start her own business, DANCE WITH MARA, in June of 1991. After two years of renting a church hall for her dance classes, Mara moved into her own studio in September of 1993 at her current location. Here, Mara’s dance studio dreams have grown and flourished. Mara is proud to have inspired and encouraged many of her students to continue their dance studies at various high schools for performing arts, university dance programmes and the National Ballet of Canada.

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