Belinda Bridgeman Academy of Dance celebrating 30 years
MERRIMACK – The Belinda Bridgeman Academy of Dance located in Merrimack, is proud to be celebrating its 30th year. The studio Director/Instructor Belinda Bridgeman-Freeman has personally taught over eight thousand young women in those thirty years. Miss Belinda, as she is called, is able to offer her students a wealth of knowledge from her diverse background, beginning as a soloist at the age of twelve with the Delaware State Ballet Company and later the Dover Ballet Theatre Company. She studied under the direction of the late Harry Asmus of the American Ballet Theatre.
Upon moving to New Hampshire she had the good fortune to compete and win the titles of Miss New Hampshire USA 1977, Miss New Hampshire America 1978, and Mrs. New Hampshire 1989. All were nationally televised and winning the New Hampshire USA and New Hampshire America titles in back to back years was quite an accomplishment. One of the highlights of her career was performing with Miss America 1979 Kylene Barker and the 1979 Miss America USO tour. Her travels lead her to perform at military installations in Germany, Japan, Okinawa, Iceland, Korea and Enewetak entertaining our service men and women overseas.
After returning to New Hampshire from performing abroad Bridgeman-Freeman opened her dance studio and became a New England Patriots Cheerleader. "That was definitely a balancing act in the beginning," she said. Traveling to Foxboro for practice and games and back to the studio was well worth it. She also noted," I was performing and teaching which are two of my passions and loves!" After four years with the Patriots Miss Belinda decided to dedicate all of her energy on the studio and here she is celebrating her 30th anniversary!
During those years there have been students that have followed in her footsteps including her daughter Brittany Freeman who is the Assistant Director at the studio was also Miss New Hampshire Teen USA 2004, a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader and Florida Panthers Ice Skater and Dancer. The most recent accomplishments from the studio are Emily Curtis, a pointe dancer and the current Miss Merrimack 2015 who competed in the Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Program where she placed in the top 10. Another student, Katie Smith who is also a pointe dancer won the title earlier this year of New Hampshire’s Distinguished Young Woman 2015 (Formerly America’s Junior Miss) and represented our state at the national America’s Distinguished Young Women competition.
The list is very impressive and during the studio’s operation, alumni include Audra Paquette- Burns who was Miss New Hampshire USA 2002, Miss New Hampshire in 2005 and a member of the Syracuse Dance Team; Alyssa Fernandes who is the current captain of the Florida International University Golden Dazzler Dance Team and was first runner up at the Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen Pageant.
Dancers from the studio have performed at the New Years Orange Bowl Halftime Show in Miami, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World, Rockin’ Ribfest, Parades and at countless events within the community throughout the years. Miss Belinda wants her students to be their best for the love of dance and remember that "Dreams begin with one step." It did for Miss Belinda 30 years ago! The studio is located at: 387 Daniel Webster Highway and offers instruction in classical ballet, hip-hop, pointe, jazz, lyrical, tap and tiny dancers. All ages and levels of dance available. For more information regarding upcoming performances the studio can be contacted at: 424-9199 or by visiting: www.
BelindaBridgemanAcademy.com. For the most up to date information you can visit the studio’s Facebook page: