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River Valley Dance Project School In 2021, RVDP expanded its impact with the opening of the River Valley Dance Project School in Deep River, CT, offering inclusive dance classes for all ages. Recognized for its contributions to the arts, RVDP has received grants such as the Artist Impact Grant in 2021 and Artist Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. As the company celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2024, RVDP continues to embody a decade of artistic exploration, collaboration, and education, with Linalynn Schmelzer's unwavering dedication at its core.

At RVDP we nurture Physical Literacy

  • Develop movement intelligence through body awareness

  • Build physical strength, flexibility, and coordination

  • Develop a growth mindset

  • Motivate the love of physical activity

  • Empower students to be comfortable expressing themselves

  • Practice setting goals and making personal progress

Movement For Life

Linalynn Schmelzer MS, BFA, CPPES, Owner of River Valley Dance Project

Linalynn Schmelzer is the owner of the River Valley Dance Project School. Her nearly two decades of experience as a performer, choreographer, and instructor have launched her into New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and throughout CT.  Linalynn performed with many modern dance companies, including; O’Brian Dancers, Sorvino Dance Project, Judie Clark Dance Theater, and La Claire Dancers.  In 2014 Linalynn created and founded her own company, River Valley Dance Project. In 2021, Linalynn opened River Valley Dance Project School where she teaches foundational and advanced classes in modern dance, ballet, improvisation, as well as corrective exercise.  Linalynn is passionate about making dance/movement accessible to all people in a safe and supportive environment. 


Linalynn works with artists, photographers, musicians, and film producers to create original dance works that inspire and engage a wide variety of audiences.  Her choreography is often rooted in collaboration and revolves around themes of nature and human relationships. 

Mrs. Schmelzer holds a bachelor’s in fine art in Dance from the University of Massachusetts Five College Dance Departments and a master’s in science in Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute, NY.


Linalynn has received several grants to continue her work. Artist Impact Grant in 2021, Artist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2011, and again in 2019. Her recent works have been presented at Green Space in New York, Spectrum Gallery in CT, Buttonwood Tree in Middletown CT, 5x5 Dance Festival at the University of Saint Joseph in Hartford CT, Raw Artist at the Oakdale Theater, CT, and at SoMA in Deep River, CT.  

In 2022 Linalynn was a recipient of the Fit For Birth certification and is a practicing Pre and Post Natal Corrective Exercise and Core Consulting Specialist.   

River Valley Dance Project School is located in SoMA (South of Main Arts) and Linalynn is delighted to bring her joy and passion for teaching to her community and beyond. 

SoMA, is located at 500 Main Street in Deep River, CT.



I’ve absolutely loved taking adult modern classes at RVDP! Linalynn is an incredible teacher who creates a very welcoming and inspiring atmosphere. I love attending her classes and how much I learn and grow as a dancer.   

RVDP is a fantastic place to dance because there are many different class options, and the environment is welcoming. There is a great sense of community here. I have benefited from taking dance classes as an adult. It is a fun yet challenging way to exercise and is a great escape from work.  

Comfortable learning environment for kids to be kids and non-intimidating for adults to participate too!  

RVDP offers a variety of fun classes with warm and welcoming members.

Taking class at RVDP has helped me find a community of adults who also love to dance and are looking to be in a supportive learning environment, rather than a competitive one. Linalynn’s instruction is accessible, non-judgmental, and has helped me make space in my life for something I really love to do. I look forward to class every single week.  

Classes at RVDP have helped me to build strength and flexibly in a welcoming environment. It has been easy to stay committed to regularly attending classes.

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