Though rooted in Tampa Bay, the impact that Mary Jo’s has had on its students and the creative community over the past four decades has reached far beyond the Academy’s home on Mapledale Boulevard. Nourished by the faculty and community fostered at MJPAA, alumni have turned their passions and talents into professional careers ranging from performing on Broadway, cruise ships, in theme parks, on the sidelines of collegiate and NFL games and so much more. You can find Mary Jo’s lasting artistic legacy not only in alumni’s achievements since graduating from the Academy but also in their desire to remain involved within the Academy, some returning as instructors, guest choreographers and staff members as adults.

The faculty and staff at Mary Jo’s undoubtedly offer excellent artistic education as noted by the multiple nationally recognized achievements received each year since being endorsed as an Outstanding Dance School in 2005 by Dance Spirit Magazine. Beyond offering skilled lessons in their dance, music, and theater departments, Mary Jo’s offers something more. As the Academy’s motto states, “It’s So Much More Than Dance,” Mary Jo’s Performing Arts Academy’s success stories are not only found on the resume’s of those who’ve pursued their passion as a career, but in the hearts of every student who attends the Academy.

MJPAA is first and foremost a community created for artistic expression, exploration, and evolvement. A space where students of every age are free to feel, learn and grow under the tender guidance of understanding and experienced instructors who wear their deep love for the arts on their sleeve. At Mary Jo’s the heartbeat and pulse of the Academy, and what makes the Academy a space so many people call home, is the focus on not just the art, but also the artist. By recognizing the value of creativity and artistic expression, and the impact that a safe place to explore oneself through art has, Mary Jo’s has become a pillar within Tampa’s creative community.

The Academy, in conjunction with Tampa Bay Triple Threat Theatre, will be presenting 2 different productions offering the community the opportunity to experience the love of the arts and the joy of live performance. On December 1st you can enjoy the family classic The Nutcracker Ballet, presented at USF Theatre 1, 2:00 & 6:00 pm. On December 15th, the musical Seussical Jr. will be presented at the Academy’s Blackbox Theater. Those shows will also be held at 2:00 & 6:00 pm. Both productions make for a wonderful holiday family experience! Tickets can be purchased at