More Than Just a Dance School

From tap to guitar, ballet to piano, acrobatics to show choir! If you’re interested in the arts, you’re in the right place.

We invite you to take time to explore the many disciplines of performing and visual arts that we offer and pray that you catch a glimpse of the heart of Arts in Action. Arts in Action is a non-profit organization with a highly-trained, dedicated faculty ready to serve you in four different arts education programs. Our faculty teaches with purpose and loving hearts with a focus on developing excellence in technique and artistic expression.



Visual Arts

Summer Camps


Special Needs

Arts in Action is an umbrella to many programs such as dance, guitar, piano, voice, visual arts, show choir, acrobatic arts, musical theater, theater, competitive Performance Company, Princess Academy, and Appalachian Clogging, as well as Laugh Lab-Comedy Improv an Stand-Up Comedy class, and SuperStars, a dance and music class that for children and adults with special needs.
Though Arts in Action has always limited its class sizes to ensure that each student has the opportunity to reach their highest potential through more one-on-one instruction, due to the coronavirus, each class is required to perform at only 40% capacity to comply with CDC safety standards and Governor Jim Justice’s orders for the overall health of the academy’s students and facility. All who enter the school must wear a mask for the entire duration of their visit, but that doesn’t mean that the Arts in Action team is not working out how to hold its 500-plus students among its five locations throughout the state.
We will continue to provide a safe, encouraging environment here at AinA. In addition to mask-wearing, classes will be separated by 15-minutes to allow for sanitation, require all who enter the facilities to have their temperatures checked, use the hand sanitizer that will be made available throughout the buildings, and practice social distancing of at least six feet apart. Parents will be required to drop off their students at the front door, but we will provide live filming of each class so parents will be able to watch on their mobile devices or computers. Access to live feed is limited to parents and only to the classes that their children participate in. Additionally, Founding Director and Master Technician, Joni Cantrell, offers private lessons in ballet/pointe technique. Award-winning choreographer, Cookie Samworth, offers choreography sessions in all dance genres, including musical theatre.
We will also offer morning virtual classes to students in response to COVID-19, in addition to in-house or virtual private ballet/pointe technique lessons by Founding Director and Master Technician, Joni Cantrell, as well as choreography sessions in all dance genres, including musical theatre by award-winning choreographer, Cookie Samworth.
Registration for the fall semester is now open. Be sure to specify whether you prefer in-studio classes or virtual classes.

For more information, please contact (304) 419-4446, or email

“The executive leadership team at Arts in Action has developed precautions in sync with CDC and state health department recommendations to address the safety of students while fostering their student’s artistry during the coronavirus pandemic. I am thankful for the diligence of the teachers to be present and engaged during a time when our children need support more than ever.”

-Dr. Amanda Deskins. Chairman of the Board of Directors

Discover your artistic gift

Arts in Action offers the opportunity to discover your artistic gift, develop it to your highest potential, and artistically express yourself in a safe and encouraging atmosphere.  We are passionate about making a significant impact in the lives of students and the community through arts education!

Learn the basics or work on advancing your skills in this flexible Acro class! Acro is not the typical tumbling or gymnastics class. Our experienced acro instructor will guide the class towards increased flexibility, balance, strength, muscle control, discipline and concentration. This class will focus on fundamental acrobatic technique, teaching such skills as handstands, chin stands, elbow stands, cartwheels, back bends, walkovers, balance and contortion tricks, all each student’s individual level of experience. And it’s fun, too!

Living Colors is a visual arts education program where each student receives personal instruction in a classroom setting.

Building on a solid foundation, the nine-month program trains students in elements and principles of design and color theory.

The program culminates with an art exhibit that will be held in conjunction with the “Word in Movement” annual recital in May. Still Life * Charcoal * Pastels * Watercolors * Painting * Sculpting * Print Making * and More

Conditioning for Dancers is a totally unique approach to a barre workout class. Fusing the best of pilates, yoga, aerobics, and elements of the strengthening exercises dancers do, this class delivers a results-driven workout that is not only fun and dynamic, but it will sculpt your body and get you into absolutely amazing shape. Designed for a wide range of fitness levels, ages and bodies, complete with progressions so those new to fitness feel successful their first time and seasoned Barre enthusiasts will always feel challenged. You don’t need to worry about having any dance experience in order to take this class, our instructor will teach you with the intent of progression through a safe approach. You will always feel challenged, yet consciously aware of what is right for your body. Conditioning for Dancers teaches you to find the strength of a dancer within you, and to transform your body.

Professional faculty at Arts in Action offer private technical coaching in a variety of art genres, as well as, choreography for individuals, duets, trios, small groups, and large groups. These special sessions are scheduled on a first come-first serve basis with durations based on the genre and size of the group.

LaughLab is an introductory course in short-form improvisational comedy. The study of improv develops teamwork, listening, and problem-solving skills. Students will have a safe environment to create scenes, characters, and jokes. Improv has been used therapeutically to help people learn public speaking and overcome social awkwardness. It is also a wonderful introduction to the basics of performance.
The skills for improvisation are aligned with the skill set of discipleship – most of life, after all is unscripted! Our instructor, a Presbyterian elder and an aspiring Certified Humor Professional, has performed improv and stand-up comedy locally, and his wife is thrilled to have him out of the house for a few hours each week.

Crescendo is a music program designed to introduce and develop skills in a variety of instruments. It is a 9 month program. Students are featured in a spring concert.

Dance is a comprehensive dance program offering training in Classical Ballet, Pointe/Toe, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz, Holy Hip-Hop, Tap, Acrobatic Arts and Clogging, and Mommy and Me. Classes for beginner dancers to advanced level, ages 2-adult are taught by a highly-skilled and passionate faculty dedicated to excellence in skill technique, creativity and artistic expression.

Musical Theatre focuses on exploring the various dance styles used in Broadway shows. While learning proper dance technique, students will also learn the unique history of musical theatre and iconic trademarks of Broadway choreographers. Each week students will focus on learning about a different Broadway show and choreographer with classic and modern shows. The class focuses on ballet technique layered with broadway style jazz movements, and will occasionally include tap. Musical theatre includes a proper warm-up, stretches, isolations, and across-the-floor and center combinations. Emphasis will also be placed on learning vital skills such as connecting with the audience and telling a story through facial expressions and professional audition etiquette.

The company is for students who have a desire to offer their talents and gifts through performance and ministry opportunities. Students and their families must be committed, dedicated and dependable. Students will be placed after auditions, based on age and skill level.

Tiaras and Tutus, Castles and Crafts, Tea and a Ball is the delight of every little Princess. Each princess of this fun day camp participates in daily dance classes which includes instruction in ballet and creative movement with an emphasis on poise, grace and technique.

They experience the royal treatment through dramatic play acting using props, tiaras, crowns and costumes and during art sessions they create beautiful princess treasures.

The Crescendo Company for Christ (C3) is the Show Choir Program of Arts in Action.  Being taught with a Christian influence, students learn the artistic form of combining choral with dance in a team performance.  There are two Show Choir seasons per academic year, each concluding with a performance event.  The first season is from September through December’s performance at “A Gift of Christmas Music” recital (date TBA) and the second season is from January through May’s performance at the “Arts Celebration” recital in May (date TBA).

This class introduces students to beginning acting techniques. Students are taught the foundations of technique and introduced to the tools that will be applied to their scene work. In this acting class, students learn how to use all of their technique, and harness it for performance. This class will focus on the fundamental skills of the physical and emotional craft of acting through the study of specific acting methods and exercises. Students will practice character analysis and learn how to create and become a dramatic, well-rounded character.

Superstars is a place where ones individual ability, rather than their disability, will be the focus. Opportunities will be created for each child to excel according to their personal skills.  Superstars classes will be places where it will not only be okay to be yourself, but where it will be celebrated!  By featuring and focusing on each individual’s strengths, the program will allow each Superstar participant to gain confidence and shine based on their unique gifts and talents.

Exciting summer camps – information coming soon!

Urban Stage is an arts program offered to all youth regardless of race, religion and economic status.

It is especially structured to offer programming to the underserved and at-risk youth who otherwise would not be afforded the opportunity to study the arts.

Students of the program receive professional instruction from qualified and caring faculty members at no cost.

The students are featured in the Spring in a dinner style performance for family, friends, and the community, complete with costumes, props and stage decorations.

Arts in Action - Performing Arts School - Non Profit Organization


Masterpiece is a comprehensive dance program offering training in a variety of dance styles.


Mommy & Me

The Mommy and Me 45 minute class nurtures the love of dance little boys and girls have while introducing them to the structure of a dance class.


Urban Stage

A free comprehensive dance, music and theater program for children on the west side of Charleston.


Visual Arts

A visual arts education program where each student receives personal instruction in a classroom setting.



With the combination of Latin-inspired music, easy to follow steps, and energetic dance atmosphere... Zumba is often called "Exercise in Disguise" because you will forget you are even working out! Tuesdays @ 6:30pm and Saturdays @ 9:00am

Participation in the arts has been shown to improve a child’s self esteem and emotional regulation, giving them a medium to safely express themselves. It has also been shown to bolster their academic success. The best part about Arts in Action is that it offers all of this to your child with the added benefit of spiritual growth.

My daughter is starting her fourth year of dance at Arts and Action, and I have been amazed by her technical advancement as well as the growth in her self confidence. She has found amazing role models here in the instructors and other dancers alike, and I cannot imagine a better place for my little ballerina to pursue her passion

Dr. Lauren Thompson, Pediatrician

We originally chose arts in Action because it provided any different options for arts education to accommodate all of our children, and the availability for them to take different classes at the same time worked perfectly with our schedule. We have continued our children’s art education at Arts in Action or five years now because of their exceptional instructors and programs that are Christ centered. We are extremely grateful for the opportunities our children have had at Arts in Action

Blake and Amber Stevens, Homeschool parents.

I would not be where I am today without Miss Joni and Arts in Action. I am forever thankful for all they have done for me.

Uriah Dunlap, West Virginia Weslyan student and AinA Alumni