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"Miss Joy,

Thank you for being such a powerful teacher and example for our daughter!"

"Miss Angela, thank you for making tumbling fun and for stealing the show!"

"This studio is just different: fun, friendly, professional, and always doing something!  Thank you for making the parades so fun!"

"We love Michelle!  Thank you for always being there in the office and for being so friendly."

"Ms. Joy and Mr. B are so friendly to everyone. Ms. Joy is really good with the little ones." ~ T.H.

"We love the instructors.  They are all so nice and good with the kids."  ~C.S.

"Your studio is just different.  Thank you for making dance fun again and for having such incredible teachers!"


Founded upon the premise of making dance fun for all ages, our studio doors opened seventeen years ago, under the name of Terrific Time Dance Studio.  Now, we are excited to serve you as Amherst Dance Academy!  A new name, but our foundation is the same.  We believe that dance is not just about competition, stage performance, and technique.  Dance is more powerful than that.  Don't get us wrong, though, we support and participate in competitions, performances, and dance recitals; and much of our class time is spent learning correct technique.  However, our main focus is making sure that the dancers learn to love dancing!  That means creating an environment that is positive and energetic.  We believe that each dancer should be given the opportunity to achieve something incredible, and this becomes possible when the environment reflects that the sky is the limit!


At Amherst Dance Academy, our goal is to provide dance education, miscellaneous dancewear, and personal growth opportunities at a competitive and affordable price.  We take pride in being able to offer our dancers more than what they would find at other studios.  We also take very seriously the environment and education your dancer receives.  Our goal is to provide a challenging, positive, and fun environment that is influential in the lives of our dancers as we teach and build in your dancer proper dance technique, respect, discipline, and self-esteem.  We believe even difficult things can be achieved when the bar is set high and and the door of opportunity is left wide open for the dancer to walk through it.

Our History


    Terrific Time Dance Studio was founded in 1992 by Terri Walsh (now Terri Layne), the daughter of Butch and Carol Walsh. With the dream of always wanting to open her own dance studio, she began thinking of what to call the studio at a very early age. After playing with words and phrases, she came across the phrase "TERRIfic Time". This clearly represented what she wanted to provide the dancers at her studio. Terri wanted to make dance fun. She wanted everyone to be able to experience dance in an environment that was fun, challenging, and positive. She wanted her studio to be available to all ages, and she wanted dancers to get as much as they wanted from taking dance there. In other words, if a dancer wanted to go to college and choose dance as a profession, she wanted her studio to prepare the dancer for that career. If a dancer wanted to to come and dance for exercise and stress relief, then she wanted her studio to serve that need as well. Terri started the studio in Amherst with only a few students and soon grew to a larger location to meet the needs of the community. Helping her along the way, her mother (Carol - Mor-Mor) served her the entire time as her accountant, office manager, and partner. Carol traveled with Terri, went to conventions, competitions, and assisted Terri in making the studio dream become a reality. With 15 solid years of business, Terri not only accomplished a solid presence of dance within the community, a love of dance in so many families, but she literally changed the lives of so many dancers as their self-esteem and confidence grew with every performance. Miss Terri believes that dance can change a life. It can help someone overcome a difficulty in learning; it can bring out a beautiful personality in a child that normally does not express him/herself; and dance can provide exercise and promote healthy living at the same time. Holding onto the purpose that Miss Terri established in 1992, the studio is still serving Amherst, VA strong today with a new owner.

    Miss Joy purchased the studio during the summer of 2006 after working with Miss Terri for several years as an instructor. Terrific Time Dance Studio held the same name for the first three years under Miss Joy as the new owner. However, during the summer of 2009, the name changed to Amherst Dance Academy to reflect the new ownership and the implementation of a professional ballet program. The team of instructors is such a dynamic blast of creativity and vision! They love to see their students express their love for dance. Miss Joy's husband, Mr. Jason, is now the studio manager and handles the advertising, accounting, and all the "behind the scenes" obligations.  We look forward to serving Amherst, VA for many years to come, and we are very excited about what we have to offer to you at Amherst Dance Academy. The instructors create such a different dance environment that offers so much to a dancer. Come check us out, because we believe that you will be pleased with what you find.