Ms. Cynthia Murphy, Founder of Alexander Academy of Performing Arts

Alexander Academy of Performing Arts was born in the 1990's with the dream of making quality dance training available to all in the community.  The late Cynthia Murphy, founder, and her students realized this dream through a tremendous amount of hard work, transforming the “Old Kula Community Center” into a donation-based dance studio open to anyone who was willing to commit to the discipline of dance, regardless of their ability to pay full tuition.

Coming from diverse social, cultural, economic, and professional backgrounds, Maui students find common ground at the Academy. They range in age from three to seventy and have come from all over the island - as far away as Hāna and Kihei - to learn in a friendly, 'ohana atmosphere. Generations of dancers have passed through the same studio doors, sharing the art of dance from one family member to the next.

In May 2017, Alexander Academy was forced to move out of the Old Kula Community Center due to structural issues with the historic building. As of June 1, 2017, Alexander Academy has moved to Hali'imaile. We are so thankful to have quickly found a new home thanks for the efforts of our community coming together to solve a crisis in such short time!

Danelle Frieden Watson, executive director since 2009, expanded the school's ballet curriculum to include contemporary, jazz, hip hop, tap and more while maintaining the original dream and mission: to provide quality instruction and performing opportunities and make dance affordable to all students who are committed the the art form. 

Mrs. Danelle Watson, Director of Alexander Academy. Photo: Sacha Webley

Alexander Academy of Performing Arts  

870 Hali'imaile road

Maui, Hawai'i


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