Our History

The Lathrop School of Dance, now celebrating 69 years, was started by Mack and Virginia Lathrop. They retired in Newtown from a successful stage and vaudeville career which included engagements in many of the world's top venues. "Miss Diane" Wardenburg, who  started with the Lathrops at the age of 4, later began assisting Mack and Mrs. Lathrop. "Mack" Lathrop passed away in 1984 and "Mrs. Lathrop" assumed the role of director and lead choreographer. Miss Diane continued her mentoring and became Mrs. Lathrop's assistant.

Miss Tamra, who started as a student in 1989, joined the faculty in 2003. When Mrs. Lathrop passed in November of 2009, Miss Diane continued the school as owner and director with Miss Tamra as her assistant. In 2019, Miss Tamra became the owner and director of the school, with the Lathrops as guiding light from above, and Miss Diane just a call away.


The school continues to embrace rich traditions, blending the newest and latest dance styles in a wonderful atmosphere with a personal level of instruction that Mrs. Lathrop and Mack treasured. Besides teaching the best possible choreography, we stress some of life's more valuable lessons. As teachers we instill promptness, dedication, education, creativity and kindness. As dancers, we teach style, class, showmanship and to be gracious. We do not believe in the competitive environment that dance competitions often create or the additional expenses they incur.

We are proud to say generations of families have experienced the sense of community, friendships and musical experience beyond the current trends or fads. We showcase our students' abilities at our annual recital, The Stardust Revue, held always, the first weekend in June.