Albemarle Academy of Dance was founded in 1990 by Leigh Johnson Roush as a means of educating local children in the art of dance and related performing arts and to provide enriching opportunities for students in the academy. AAD has become one of the most respected centers of dance and performing arts in the Southeast. ​AAD's mission is to provide a positive learning environment to encourage our students to develop a passion and love for dance and the performing arts, while building self esteem, confidence,  and discipline in a fun yet challenging environment. At AAD, we require of each student the very best effort of which they are capable and, in return, give the care and attention the student deserves.

The staff at Albemarle Academy of Dance consists of  professional and highly sought after instructors who offer beginning through pre-professional programs for students ages 3 and up.  Dance experts worldwide agree that ballet training is the best foundation for anyone interested in dance - regardless of the style they ultimately pursue. Ballet provides discipline, strength, poise and stamina.  It is also the key to developing proper alignment and body placement which is essential in developing strong technique for all styles of dance. For these reasons, ballet is a central focus of our school; however, our goal is to provide students with a well-rounded and broad performing arts education which will allow them many advantages over lesser trained artists.  ​We are proud to offer comprehensive programs in hip hop, jazz, tap, musical theatre, voice, acting, contemporary, and tumbling.  ​

 Alumni of the AAD program have continued their training with the North Carolina School of the Arts, New York University, California Institute of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, East Carolina University, Duke University-American Dance Festival, The School of American Ballet, The Limon School,  Joffrey Ballet, The Boston Ballet, The Atlanta Ballet, The Rock School and many others.   Former and current students have performed or are currently performing on Broadway, in film and commercials, with national and international professional companies, and on cruise ships.  Other alumni have used the skills and appreciation of the arts that they learned in dance classes to thrive in other careers such as teachers, arts program directors, and professionals.​

Albemarle Academy of Dance is proud to be the official school of the 'City Youth Ballet', 'Playtime Children's Theatre' and 'The Showoffs'.