Studio History

Mary M. Cummings founded Accent on Dance Studios in 1979. Her passion for dance began at the age of five when her mother had the insight to give her the gift of dance. Mary realized she had a unique ability to touch other people’s lives through the teaching of dance and set out to make a difference. Her dream started with humble beginnings in the basement of Bluemound Bowl. One “studio”, one teacher, and 70 students. In the next 7 years with the support of loyal students and friends, a strong family atmosphere. This, along with becoming known for outstanding year-end productions, helped AOD expand into two small studios in two different locations. Shortly after in 1989, Accent on Dance attended its first competition, the “Stars of Tomorrow” Talent Showcase in Brookfield Square. AOD was 1 of 20 routines competing a variety of talents and took 4th place.

In the years following, they continued to grow and develop programs, attend conventions, and suit the needs of their clients by combining their studios under one roof. In 1993 the Company Program was made “official” and the first of the auditions took place. In 1997 after three moves and expansions A.O.D. arrived at its present location with 3 studios. Former students are now dancing professionally, teaching on faculty, or bringing their children and grandchildren to A.O.D!  In 2003 Dance Spirit Magazine profiled Accent on Dance as one of the top 50 studios to watch in the Nation and in 2009 number one in the state of Wisconsin!    A.O.D. continues to be a welcoming, healthy, inspiring, value oriented place for hundreds of dancers each year. In the fall of 2004, Mary’s daughter Kellie Plath, A.O.D. nationally award winning Company Director and creative influence for the past 20 years, became owner and artistic director of the studio. The passion continues… Continuing to serve the need in the community, AOD now houses 5 studios as well as a state of the art “Black Box” theatre for in-house productions. In the summer of 2010 Kellie and her long time employee and friend  Mara Perugini opened a satellite studio in Mukwonago, Wisconsin.  Miss Mara, a native of Mukwonago is so excited to be bringing her passion of dance back to the community she loves so much. Accent on Dance is proud to offer something for every age and ability through it’s Developmental, Troupe and Company Programs. The staff and faculty look forward to the future and continue to strive to make a difference in a dancer’s life.