Testimonials

“Mark’s experience and expertise is  surpassed only by his ability to communicate his passion and knowledge to his students and fellow artists. Mark’s teaching methods are impeccable! As Founder and Artistic Director, Mr. Ruhala guarantees without question that students will get some of the best theater arts training in the country.”

- Bobby Boling 

Producer, Director, Choreographer, Author- A Dancer's Manual

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“ If you are interested in learning the craft of musical theatre performance or desire to make it on Broadway, the Ruhala Performing Arts Center is the place to study!”

- Carolyn Ockert 

Broadway veteran and dance instructor, New York

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“I can say with total confidence that my 12 years at BTC made me a more educated, cultured, imaginative and generally happy person. At BTC I learned the craft of performing in a disciplined, yet liberating environment, while at the same time forming friendships and gaining mentors that will surely last me a lifetime. Without BTC, I believe some of the biggest choices I have had to make in my life so far — from education to personal–would have been much less informed and inspired. I was always encouraged by Mark and other instructors to pursue both my love of the performing arts and my desire for a strong liberal arts education. This was the reason I applied early decision to Barnard College, an all-women’s school affiliated with Columbia University. Barnard has a strong and renowned dance and theater program, which I have taken advantage of in my three semesters there. Mark was extremely generous in helping me prepare application materials, and I am quite sure that his letter of recommendation stood out in my application, as I was accepted early my college of choice.”

- Ariana Barth 

12 year student of Mr. Ruhala, honors graduate of Barnard College

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“I have been extremely fortunate to have had Mark Ruhala as my friend and teacher for the past 15 years. He is a teacher that inspires each student to find what is intrinsically beautiful in themselves and learn to express it with both generosity and confidence. He himself is a constant student questioning his own process and pushing himself further for the profit of his students. I was fortunate to begin my relationship with Mark from a very early age. Already knowing that I wanted to spend my life in the theater, Mark quickly recognized the potential that I had, and helped direct me towards a path of living and working in authenticity. Mark nurtured my dancing and later supported my desire to create my own work. He has always given me, as he does to all he teaches, the safety to explore and break new ground. I continue to turn to him at every junction in my life, and am always reminded of the integrity of his essence. What is perhaps most important is that while Mark inspires his students to achieve technical prowess and utterly human performances–he applauds the best in each of us without us ever needing to step onstage.”

- Adam Barruch

New York Choreographer/Dancer

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“The first time I worked with Mark Ruhala was on an original show called The Gold Watch and the story was based on the Motherpeace Tarot Card deck.  I aptly named Mark The Magician (after one of the cards in the deck) and this is how I would still describe him today.  After 10+ years as a professional colleague, our body of work together has been vast, always rewarding, often eclectic and challenging but always, always true to the craft.  I have watched Mark work his magic on dozens of shows and have always been impressed by his process and the achievement of the end result.  I have watched him breathe life into tired and true classics and also create visionary pieces of art through his dance and original theatrical and musical presentations.  And what always remains is the commitment to the craft and providing a safe, joyous and non judgmental world in which we are all the better for having been a part of.  I would not be the artist and performer I am today were it not for my work with Mark and I am prouder still to be able to call him my friend.  Under his tutelage, I have thrived and grown as an artist and person and I would recommend him, his work and his studio to anyone who wanted to know what it was like to truly be in the arts as a serious performer or as someone who simply wants to sing and dance.“

-Valerie DiLorenzo

Recording and Cabaret Artist, NYC

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“As a student of Mark Ruhala’s I was given an invaluable opportunity for growth and learning.  Throughout middle school and high school, it was my work with Mark that was my most meaningful education.  I learned great lessons about commitment, work ethic, responsibility, self-discovery, group dynamics and of course the beauty of the performing arts.”

-Clarissa Pilder

Marymount of Manhattan College, Summa Cum Laude Graduate

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“I have been fortunate to have known and worked with Mark Ruhala for over fifteen years. He is a gifted visionary of dance, teaching and directing. His style is fresh, innovative, inspiring and always passionate. His direction of my musical “FIONA” was magical: a stroke of masterful storytelling, bold choices, and winning results!“

-Neil Berg

Composer / Lyricist /Producer

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“Mark Ruhala is that rare kind of artist who not only possesses an enormous amount of personal creative energy, vision, talent & discipline; but also amazing gifts of communication and inspiration with aspiring artists. He is a true gift and he is hungry to share it, teach it, and bring it out in others.“

-Kevin Connors

MTC Executive Artistic Director and Co-Founder

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“On behalf of the clients and staff at Origami, we would like to extend a huge thank you for your generous contribution to our organization. Opportunities like the one you offer, continue to enhance the quality of life for our clientele. Thank you!”“

-Erin Sullivan

Origami, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, Mason, Mi.

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“Mark is a passionate and inspiring instructor. While working while him, I witnessed students making amazing breakthroughs- not just once but over and over again. He is as demanding of himself as he is of those around him, illustrating to all that he practices what he preaches. Mark gives his students a gift which is more valuable than a fleeting moment on stage- he helps each one find his or her own voice and the courage to use it.

-Fiona Santos

Artistic Director, Broadway Training Center, Adjunct Music Professor, New York University 

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