Maureen founded the Astoria Dance Centre in 1983 and has directed the school for the past 39 years. 18 years ago her husband, Tony Corso became co-director of the school. Maureen has been a dance educator for 46 years. Over the past 39 years at ADC, she has directed a full curriculum of dance styles and programs for ages 2 through Teens as well as implementing an Acting, Music and Voice program.
ADC has been invited over the years to perform at The Queens Museum, Queens Cultural Festivals, Nursing Homes, Queens Community Board Street Fairs and Festivals, the 114th Precinct Community Council events and at Lincoln Center and the Frick Museum in NYC. In addition to her own school Maureen has taught dance at private schools, at community outreach programs and after school programs.
Maureen and ADC are proud supporters of The Andrea Rizzo Foundation that raises funds to support children with cancer and special needs. Maureen is a Lifetime member of the Dance Educators of America and is a current member of the National Dance Education Organization. For the past 20 years she has been an advocate of National Dance Week and The National Dance Foundation.
Maureen enjoys adjudicating dance competitions and continuing her lifelong dance and business education. Along with directing the school Maureen was the owner of A Dancer’s Closet, an authorized Capezio retail store for the past 12 years. Maureen is a Founding Member of I.D.E.A., the International Dance Entrepreneurs Association, for dance studio owners. At I.D.E.A she presents business seminars and advises other studio owners on ways to run their studio business more efficiently. Maureen has also presented business seminars at Rhee Gold’s DanceLife Retreat Center and at the DanceLife Teacher Conferences.
Since opening in 1983, ADC has had 3 different locations in the Astoria area. Each location has had a multitude of students and aspiring young artists that have learned valuable dance technique, discipline and life lessons. Maureen has trained dancers from age 3 through their teen years, helped students reach their goals of attending several Performing Arts High Schools in NYC including, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Talent Unlimited High School, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School and prestigious Dance programs such as SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, Nazareth College, SUNY Geneseo, Queens College, Hunter College, and Queensboro Community College.
Her dedication to teaching has influenced many of her students to become dance educators as well. While some of her former students have pursued careers in the Arts, others have become Doctors, Fitness instructors and much more. Maureen stays in touch with former students and employees that have grown up at the studio, and been a part of the ADC family she has created over the years.
She encourages and supports her students by going the extra mile and providing them with the tools they need to be the best dancer they can be. From bringing in professional nutritionists, NYC Harkness Center physical therapists that specialize in dance and injury prevention, guest artists, trips to the Ballet and Broadway Shows, Dance Conventions, and continuing education workshops for her faculty and staff. Maureen has always strived to cover every aspect of a full arts education and understanding of what it takes to be a true professional.
ADC has been through a lot more than just different locations. One of the hardest and most difficult challenges the entire world faced, the COVID-19 Pandemic, hit the Arts community and severely destroyed small businesses. Maureen did everything she possibly could to keep ADC going strong through these challenging times. Providing that much needed outlet for all the wonderful students at ADC. She continued to adapt and develop solutions to keep everyone dancing and immersed in the arts, dance history and culture. Theaters closed, but she found a way to celebrate her students triumphs and accomplishments with her Red Carpet events and virtual performances. She pushed forward and persevered through the pandemic's obstacles, while staying true to her studio mission, values and ultimately being there for the community she loves. A true hero of the Arts, Maureen's generosity and life long work will continue to live on forever through her outstanding legacy, carefully developed curriculums, and of course the beautiful Dance Studio and Arts home she created for the community.
We wish Miss Maureen a very happy retirement and will continue to hold true to her mission and life's work. Thank you for creating this safe and special haven for the arts. We will make you proud!