A Professional Approach

Anna Marie Dobbins and Linda DobbinsLinda Dobbins Dance in Mountain Brook has developed a pre-professional/professional training program that yields extraordinary results in the world of entertainment and the arts.


More than two decades ago, Linda Dobbins, a dancer herself as a young adult, began teaching dance at the YMCA in Trussville. Fast forward through the years, and today Linda Dobbins Dance has developed into a premier dance studio recognized nationally, with an extraordinary pre-professional curriculum that is winning acclaim, professional jobs and college scholarships for Dobbins’ students. Dobbins Dance has become the ultimate home for the pre-professional and professional dancer, actor and/or vocalist.

This year-round Pre-Professional course is for elite dancers, actors and vocalists who are looking to launch their professional careers.  The Pre-Professional Program offers the pragmatic coursework needed to establish a student as a working performer. The course is multi-disciplinary with technique classes, practical seminars to educate the performer and the parent on the industry, mock auditions to provide real-world experience, and numerous networking opportunities to secure a space as a working artist. The staff travels with Dobbins’ “pre-pros” to visit area colleges and universities, to New York and to Los Angeles for networking, dance classes, evaluations, and more.

“We have connected students with more than $250,000 in income and scholarship money in just the past 5 years alone,” Linda Dobbins says. “I just love working with students. It is fun to see how far they can go. Most studios are recreational. We offer that, but we work on training and want to get students scholarships and help them embark on professional careers. We take students on meet and greets to places like Julliard and other top schools. That is what makes us different. We also have taken students to Scotland, which opened doors for them in the U.K.”

Dobbins’ Mountain Brook Village studio is busy day and night, from the Academy at Linda Dobbins Dance—which is their homeschooling program—with academics and dance, to recreational dancers, competitive dancers, pre-pros and professional dancers filling the studio sights and sounds of young people developing their talent. “There is amazing talent in this town. We are so sports-oriented in the South. Dads certainly know how to check out the best football and quarterback camps, baseball camps, and softball camps. Parents just don’t realize that the same opportunities are there for dance, acting and vocal. But you have to make connections, and it is a lot of training and work. Just like football and basketball, you have to start early and work hard.”

“There are a lot of college scholarships that people don’t really know about. We also do pre-training for ballet companies. We have our dancers train in intensives with Nashville Ballet, which is one of the best in the country.”

Dobbins’ daughter, Anna Marie Dobbins, is probably the best example of a student developing a career from right here in Birmingham. Anna Marie is signed with Real People Models and Talent; JPervis, Atlanta; Beal Talent, Los Angeles; Cinda Snow, Los Angeles and New York.  “At 23, she travels to New York and LA and has done very well, totally self-sustaining. She works in feature films, television, commercial work and, of course, dance. She is the creative director and choreographer for the pop group Kali5.  She is the lead in Dropped (2014), the feature film produced here. This film will be traveling the circuit of major festivals for distribution,” Linda says.

“Through contacts I have made with Anna Marie, we have developed multiple contacts in LA and New York. We are contacted all the time about castings. That is when we began the pre-professional program, and it has really grown. We partner with Real People here in Birmingham and Joy Pervis out of Atlanta. We also have multiple agents in New York and Los Angeles,” Dobbins says.

“We have one student, Breena, who has been accepted into the National School in Canada, at which the performers of  Cirque du Soleil are hired. She has just turned 11.  Another one of our dancers is Sophie, who just got accepted into The Radio City Rockettes Intensive to train with The Rockettes this summer in New York. We also guided her professional modeling career, where she has now signed a contract with Real People Models and Talent, Major Models New York and Michele Pommier of Miami, which is one of the top modeling agencies in the world and a fashion icon in the industry,” Dobbins says. “You can live in Birmingham and still work as a professional anywhere.”


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