The Ridgewood Performing Arts Center (RPAC) opened its doors in Northern New Jersey in the Fall of 2006. The school was started by Alexia Hess-Sheehan and Amy Armbruster to fill the need for a multi-disciplinary dance facility that was both professional in its approach and that was made up of some of the best dance teachers in the New York Tri-State area.

RPAC Students are exposed to the most current dance styles and innovative choreography. We stress the importance of a caring and non-competitive environment, while maintaining a high level of aesthetics and professionalism that our students carry with them for a lifetime.



Alexia Hess-Sheehan
Owner | Artistic Director | Instructor

Alexia Hess-Sheehan studied ballet in Amarillo, Texas under the tutelage of her parents. At age 9, she received a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre. The following year, she followed her two older sisters at the world-renowned School of American Ballet in New York City. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1979, where she worked with choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Alexia made her Broadway debut in Tony Award-winning “Jerome Robbins Broadway,” playing Maria in West Side Story. Other Broadway credits are “110 In The Shade,” “Phantom of the Opera” (where she met her husband, Ciaran) and “Carousel.” Alexia came to New Jersey in 1996 and began to share her love of ballet with young students. She quickly developed a large following of loyal students, who continue to give her much joy.

Amy Armbruster » Owner | Managing Director | Instructor
Amy Armbruster grew up in Ridgewood and has danced since age 3. As a child, she performed with John Harms Childrens Theater. At age 12, she studied ballet in France. At age 16, Amy studied at the Ballet Academien Summer program in Stockholm, Sweden. In high school she entered the scholarship program at STEPS on Broadway, and danced on a competitive Dance team. In her senior year of high school, she began teaching as an assistant. She's danced with Jean Anne Ryan Productions; NJ Nets dance/cheerleading team; Macy’s & JC Penney Dance Industrials; and Great Adventure. She ultimately realized her true joy was teaching. She has become known as “Miss Amy” in the area and loves children and all they bring to the world. Her goal is to share her experience in performance and dance.