For sisters Lorraine Speziale and Lucille Speziale-Bunion, dancing is in their blood. So much so that the siblings decided to share their love of dance with the rest of the neighborhood. The Lorie-Lu School of Dance & Gymnastics celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Lorie-Lu opened its doors at 11th & Moyamensing in 1970 and students today call their 1625 S. 11th Street location home. The sisters are the original owners and have made it their mission to teach students a variety of dance styles including ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, as well as gymnastics.
All ages (as early as two) and abilities are welcome. Lorie-Lu has even worked with couples before their wedding day and choreographed routines for Ferko String Band, where their brother, the late Bill Speziale Sr., was a member. Bill not only supported and enjoyed the arts as much as his sisters, he purchased the studio’s permanent location in 1983.
After five decades, Lorie-Lu knows a thing or two about standing the test of time. Lorraine and Lucille started dancing when they were five years old and haven’t taken off their tap shoes since. When asked how their studio keeps up with the times, Lorraine says, “Technique. That’s the word that comes to mind. Also, the ability to incorporate both discipline and enjoyment. It’s a surreal feeling to watch the babies we’ve taught grow up and have babies of their own and bring them back for lessons.”
Both Lorraine and Lucille recall music and the arts as an essential aspect of their upbringing. They say the relationship between dance and family dynamics is one of the major changes they’ve seen in past years.
Lorraine explains, “Family is key. We look to our mother Connie as our family’s matriarch and see families come together at the studio to watch their students. We see not only mothers and fathers, anymore, but grandparents, aunts, uncles and extended family. We are in business for families and have seen first-hand how dance can bring family members together.”
If you’d like to celebrate with the Lorie-Lu family, you can attend their 50th annual recital on Friday, June 26, 2020, 6 pm, at the Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard. You can purchase your tickets at the studio.
Anyone interested in taking lessons at Lorie-Lu can call 215.336.8890 or visit their website at http://www.lorielu.com.
Lorie-Lu School of Dance & Gymnastics is a member of the Philadelphia RowHome Magazine (PRH) Business Network.