Mitchell’s Dance Studio Presents The Follies of 2022
Welcome to our Show! As the curtain opens on our 90th year, we celebrate by dancing through the decades of 1932-2022. In 1932, Mary Manuel Mitchell opened a Dance Studio in the “Music Room” of her home at 27 Chapman St. in Beverly. Her first Recital consisted of performances by her 7 pupils plus other variety acts. Thus the title “Follies of ___” became a reality. In the Fall of 1933, Mary’s young teenage son, Alvin proved that he could teach and conduct lessons. At 10 cents per lesson, they provided anyone with an interest in dancing the opportunity to take classes. The Studio’s popularity grew to include students from all over the North Shore.
Then in the early to mid 40’s, Al began teaching Tap and Ballroom classes to the surrounding public schools on the North Shore. In the early 50’s, teens came from as far away as Everett, Wilmington and Tewksbury to attend Mitchell’s Thursday Night Ballroom Classes.The 1960’s brought forth the elite Mitchellette group which included the best of the best dancers under the direction of Al Mitchell. Perdito became the staple dance of the group (for those who could keep up!) as they performed in venues all over the North Shore. In the 70’s, Modern Ballet was introduced to the Studio along with Dramatic Acts performed in the Follies. Al’s neice, Joyce Boccia Hersey began teaching and after high school she assisted Al in operating the Studio. Joyce was able to introduce the new style of Jazz and it took off without a hitch! The studio thrived through the support of the community as generations of dancers continued to take lessons from Mitchell’s.