Ella Hay Director


The Art Center School of Dance started in 1972 by Anne Perdue. In 1973, the school was taken over by Jean B. Dickinson of the Dickinson School of Dance. In 1975, Ella Hay became the owner.Ella Hay began her studies with Jean B. Dickinson in 1973. She studied with Duncan Noble of the North Carolina School of the Arts through teachers’ sessions in North Carolina, summer camps, and various workshops for approximately 25 years.

Mrs. Hay attended the first Russian workshop with the directors and former dancers of the Kirov Ballet in Champaign, Illinois. She has participated in all dance workshops held at Marshall University, some of which include 3 weeks of everyday classes with Svea Ecloff and Michele Rahn from North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) and the Footpath Company, with Alice Rubenstein, director, for 2 years. Ella Hay has also attended various other 3 day workshops with Daniel Nagrin, Gus Giadorno, Murray Louis, Luisi, and the All Nations Dance Company of New York.

She still participates in the West Virginia Dance Festival in Charleston, WV every April.

Ella Hay performed for 7 years in “Christmas” a tribute to Pavola, by Duncan Noble in the Scrader Ballet. She has also been “On Line” for programs at the Huntington Museum of Art for approxiametly 23 years. 

 She is currently the adjunct ballet instructor at Marshall University. 

Candace Imperi


Candace Imperi has studied classical ballet and tap under the direction of Ella Hay for 21 years.  She has been an assistant teacher at the Art Center for ten years.  She has performed in over a dozen musical theater productions, attended WV dance festivals for over a decade, and choreographed local productions.   

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