Second Generation owner, Mary Giattino has appeared on Broadway in White Christmas, and has since become the Associate Choreographer for such Broadway productions as Billy Elliott: The Musical, White Christmas, Fun Home, Dear Evan Hansen, as well as for television NBC’s Rise, and Apple TV’s Dickenson.
Married in the Bronx in 1966. actor/singer James Giattino, and dancer/choreographer Diane Graviano met while sharing the stage in a summer stock production of “West Side Story” playing Big Deal and Anita. Little did they know that the history of Stage Door School of Dance was well under-way.
As two theater lovers, art supporters, dancers, and all-around inspiring people, James and Diane moved to Long Island to start a family in 1975, and opened Stage Door School of Dance in 1976. Housed in the basement of Christ Episcopal Church at 64 South Country Road in Bellport, SDSD came to life for the very first time.
As word got out that Diane Giattino was one of the best tap dancers Bellport had ever experienced, Stage Door’s enrollment began to grow, which meant it was time to pack up classes in the church basement and find a bigger studio space of our very own!
With only one studio, in 1981 Stage Door School of Dance moved to 678 SOUTH COUNTRY ROAD, EAST PATCHOGUE.
Quickly establishing itself as one of the most professional yet still family-focused neighborhood dance studios with students coming for lessons from all over Suffolk County, once again it was time for Stage Door School of Dance to expand and find a new home.
In 1988 SDSD cut the ribbon on a two-studio space, at 25 EAST PATCHOGUE YAPHANK ROAD, EAST PATCHOGUE. Many professional dancers began their careers in this studio space, going on to dance on
Broadway, with the Rockettes, dance with Major League Sports Teams, and more!
With a consistently growing roster of professional alumni, students, and families, in 2009 James and Diane took a grand jeté into a brand new, 3 studio-space, just around the corner at 655-19 Montauk Highway, East Patchogue.
This expanded new space allowed Stage Door to offer more classes, and professional dance education including the creation of our inspiring and thriving DanceAbility program (Now called weDance) for our dancers with physical, cognitive, behavioral, or emotional needs of all ages.
After years of classes, students, recitals, and a million memories, including marching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it was time for James and Diane Giattino to hang up their dancing shoes, and retire as of 2012.
With a now immediate need for new studio leadership, what better way to continue providing the magical
experiences Stage Door School of Dance has always offered then by passing ownership to daughter, SDSD alumnus, Broadway veteran, and former Radio City Rockette Mary Giattino and her late husband, the beloved and greatly missed, Broadway Technician Ricky Styles.
In 2016, Mary and Ricky had a vision and dream to move Stage Door School of Dance into a customized, performing arts education facility. After tireless searching for the perfect location, meetings with brilliant designers, contractors, artists, and lots of dreaming, that location was secured.
With 5 studios, a completely customized building just for Stage Door School of Dance, was born. We are beyond #SDSDproud to now call 127 Sunrise Highway North Service Road, East Patchogue, NY our brand-new Stage Door School of Dance home as March 2, 2020 when we opened our doors for classes for the very first time.