By Laura Wade
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Stephanie Filippo, 18, has always had a passion for dancing. Now that she’s older, she’s using that passion to educate younger children. Through teaching dance lessons at a studio in Laurel Springs and assistant choreographing multiple different activities through Mainstage Center for the Arts, Filippo gets to educate and influence many children each week to stay in the arts.
During the week, Filippo works at the Next Stage Dance and Drama Academy in Runnemede, New Jersey as a dance substitute and a receptionist. She also teaches classes at Dance Class in Laurel Springs and is an assistant choreographer for the Harmony and Encore show choirs which are located here at Camden County College through Mainstage Center for the Arts.
“I’ve been dancing and performing in shows since I was little and now that I get to make the impact that my dance teachers made on me to other little girls, it’s a great feeling. It gives me the feeling that I’m getting to make a difference in our community and keep the arts alive,” said Filippo. “It’s really important that kids know they can express themselves in positive ways and not bottle up their emotions. I try to show them that through my dance lessons.”
During past summers, Filippo has participated in Summerstage, a summer theater camp run through Mainstage that is held on the CCC campus. She was a performer in the camp for about 8 years until she decided to further her education and become a choreographer intern for 2 years. This summer, Filippo hopes to move up to become a head choreographer for the camp.
“It’s always a pleasure to have Stephanie working for Summerstage,” says supervisor Anne Marie Weaver, “She’s such a great part of our team. She really connects with the kids and understands ways to productively teach them without losing their focus. She makes learning for them a fun and exciting experience.”
Filippo is studying deaf education here at Camden County and plans to transfer to The College of New Jersey after she receives her associate’s. She will continue her dance education as well as teaching classes during her studies.