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Studio of The Month – Showcase Dance Studios

The culture of the Showcase Dance Studio in Manassas, Virginia, is based on Misty Lown’s More Than Just Great Dancing model. They take pride in their family atmosphere that encourages academics while offering age appropriate curriculum’s, costumes and music. Their caring staff fosters a lifetime love of dance, confidence, and healthy minds and bodies. Most importantly they make it their mission to give back to their community! Showcase’s classes include Acrobatics, Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz, Leaps & Turns, Lyrical, Modern Dance, Musical Theatre, Pointe, Pom, and Tap.

In the opinion of Crystal Carfagno, the Artistic Director and instructor of Showcase Dance Studio, the studio’s culture, staff, attention to detail and facility separates their studio from other studios in the area.

Crystal’s proudest moment as teacher occurred when her Company dancers received the “Technique Award” from On Pointe’s dance competition last year. This prestigious award is bestowed to the highest technique award out of the whole competition. Crystal said she was so happy she could cry! According to Crystal, it is hard to explain, but when you teach dance you lay your heart and soul on the dance floor . . . you want to teach your dancers everything you know. Some days you (more…)

Fusion Dance Force Interview with Nancy Preiser

dance performanceNancy Preiser, Office Manager, describes Fusion Dance Force in Holbrook, New York, as a pre-professional dance studio for dancers 2 to 19 years of age. They offer classes in every style of dance from a recreational level to competitive teams. Their teachers are all professionals in the industry, regularly traveling across the country for master classes and setting of choreography. Their studio is a family friendly environment that creates a positive learning atmosphere for all dancers involved.

She believes that what separates their studio from others is the level of teaching offered in their studio. Their weekly faculty includes, Danny Tidwell, Destini Rogers and Billy Larson as well as their directors, Kyle Preiser and Amanda Anderson. All of their dancers are trained as a professional would be. Their students are given a core foundation based around respect and hard work while also maintaining the highest level of dance training there is.

One of her proudest moments is actually something they experience on an event to event basis. Their studio is fairly new (going into their 4th year currently) so they constantly have a bunch of new kids coming in from all different places to form this team. However, you would never know it. (more…)

December Studio of The Month

Kathy BunkerKathy Bunker, Owner and Artistic Director of Bunker Dance Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada, describes her dance studio as a creative, professional and inspiring dance studio where students of all ages and levels can attend classes. From the beginner dancer to the most advanced there are classes to help each student reach their dance goals.

In her opinion, their studio stands out among other dance studios because they are professionals, their dance experience, their faculty and their programs.

Kathy has had many “proud coaching moments” throughout the years but coaching and helping Aaron Turner prepare his tap solos for So You Think You Can Dance, Season 10 was especially memorable for her.

dance performanceThe biggest mistake that Kathy sees dancers make today is focusing too heavily on what dances they are being placed in and not enough on their individual progress. Each dance journey is unique!

Her goal for this year is the same as every year – to help each dancer believe in themselves more! She also plans to continue research and plans for future expansions.

Kathy opened Bunker Studio because of her mother’s influence. Her mother, Beverly Reid, owned her own studio for many years and Kathy grew up assisting her and teaching the younger (more…)

Zanzibar Studio Interview with Jules Downum and Lacy Maselle

lacy maselle and jules downumZanzibar Studio is Chattanooga’s First School of Belly Dance and is co-owned by Jules Downum and Lacy Maselle who are also the school’s co-directors. According to Jules and Lacy, Zanzibar Studio provides a wide variety of dance and movement classes for adults. Lacy and Jules believe that dance provides an intellectual, artistic, physical, and social outlet and is for everybody – regardless of age, race, or body type. Their classes are designed to balance technical breakdown, exercise, and fun.

Zanzibar’s philosophy is steeped in personal empowerment through growing awareness. They believe that body awareness, in particular, opens up so many doors both physically and emotionally. Tapping into their intuitive selves can be a powerful tool for their growing awareness and it can help them tap into their more creative and spiritual selves.

belly dancingIn the opinion of both Lacy and Jules, what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that they cater to adults. Though they offer a variety of dance classes many of their classes are belly dance. Their four belly dance instructors have a combined 45 years in experience and they are committed to keeping standards high.

Since Jules has been teaching weekly classes for 12 years, she finds (more…)

Winter Dance Company Interview with Winter D. McCray

winter d mccrayWinter D. McCray, Artistic Director of Winter Dance Company (WDC) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, they provide quality and affordable dance instruction for students three years old to adult. Their goal is for each dancer to experience the elements of dance including creativity, performance quality, style, and musicality in a positive and fun-filled atmosphere. Their trained staff focuses on the overall improvement of the dancer through training, dance education, and performance opportunities.

Winter Dance Company instills positive self-esteem, motivation, discipline, and commitment. Students will have a positive influence within the community through participation and performance opportunities with non-profit and community-based programs and organizations. Whether a student is dancing for fun or recreation, or to enter dance on a professional level, Winter Dance Company is a great foundation and guide along the way.

winter dance companyWinter Dance Company is dedicated to bringing the fun and challenge of dancing to Baton Rouge and surrounding areas at an affordable cost. They offer private and group instruction in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, liturgical, mime, cheernastics, lyrical, and fitness. WDC also provide a place for dancers to utilize and showcase their skills through an annual dance recital, community programs events, productions, and performances. Additionally, WDC offers its students a variety of (more…)

Starstruck Dance Academy Interview with Emily Suing

emily suingAccording to Emily Suing, the owner and director of Starstruck Dance Academy, in Lincoln, Nebraska, their studio mission statement is “Dance should be about bringing out the best in every dancer, having fun, and helping dancers feel good about themselves.” They want their dancers to feel empowered in a positive learning environment.

In Emily’s opinion, what separates her dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that they have a staff that genuinely cares about their dancers. They like to keep their class sizes small for personal attention. Their classes are for all ages, two years old to adult, and they have something for everyone – from the recreational dancer to the competitive dancer.

Emily loves watching her dancers grow in their dance skills and seeing those moments when things click and they finally get something hard they have been working on. She also loves when her dancers become her assistant teachers and then later begin teaching for her. That is very rewarding for me.

dancers starstruck dance academyEmily believes that dance is a sport and an art where you are always learning. She thinks it is important to remember to continue working hard even if you think a class is “too easy.” There is always (more…)

EMPAC Interview with Eva Moore

2261969According to Eva Moore, Owner of Eva Moore’s Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, their studio aims to provide children a fun and safe environment where they can develop healthy bodies, creative minds, and strong spirits. Their studio is home to a recreational program, a community performance company, and a competitive company. They provide quality training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tumbling, Lyrical, and Cheer/Poms.

In Eva’s opinion, what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that they believe it is important to show their students that there is always more to learn. Owner Eva Moore holds a degree in dance from Oklahoma City University (OCU). All of their instructors are eager to continue their dance education through workshops and conventions. They believe it is important to show their students that there is always more to learn.

Eva tells us that her proudest moment coaching occurred during their very first dance recital. She had put together a large closing number that involved a ton of students from their studio. These dancers ranged from 5 to 18 years old and all possessed their own skill level. Eva remembers watching this dance take stage and feeling completely overwhelmed (more…)

Tiptoz Dance Studios Interview with Anneliese Troxell

Anneliese TroxellAnneliese Troxell is the Director of Tiptoz Dance Studios and the Owner of Tiptoz Dance Management in Kansas with studios in two locations –  Council Grove and Herington, Kansas. Anneliese describes Tiptoz Dance Management as a program that connects rural dance communities together by sharing resources to give small towns a chance to compete with big city curriculum. Tiptoz focuses primarily on ballet technique and tap as the building blocks for other dance forms and supports pre-professional and recreational dance.

In Anneliese’s opinion, what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that they can customize their programming for the needs of their small communities. They support other local businesses by partnering with the city chamber offices. They operate in areas with fewer than 3,000 inhabitants, many of whom have a high population of poverty, but they are able to offer a variety of scholarship opportunities to help those dancers that have talent, but not funding.

dance performanceWatching one of her soloists take home a 1st place trophy in her division, Anneliese cried. She worked hard for that trophy and the dancer worked hard for that trophy and yet Anneliese caught a lot of flak from the dancer’s mom and other (more…)

Ms. Lisa’s Dance Studio Interview with Lisa Schmiedeke

Lisa SchmiedekeLisa Schmiedeke, Owner, Director and Teacher of Ms. Lisa’s Dance Studio in Tampa, Florida, says that when a little girl walks into Ms. Lisa’s Dance Studio they seem to shine.  They will twirl with excitement as their imaginations and creativity come alive.  The teachers encourage their dancers while teaching them a strong technique. They offer all genre of dance at Ms. Lisa’s.

In Lisa’s opinion, their dance studio is unique among other dance studios for a number of reasons. At her studio, dancers start at 18 months of age with their Baby Ballerina classes and go up to high school students.  They are a family run business.  They strive to work on building each individual’s confidence while the student is learning strong ballet technique.  They want their studio to be a place where lasting friendships grow and develop.  Some of Lisa’s dancers have been with her for over 13 years and have told her their dance friends are their best friends.  They have both recreational and competitive dance teams.  In today’s society, young girls are often bullied and feel so much pressure amongst their peers.  At Ms. Lisa’s, they want their studio to be a place where their students can unwind and be themselves (more…)

Gracie’s Guys and Gals Dance Studio Interview with Grace Myles

grace mylesGrace Myles (Gracie) is the Owner and Artistic Director of Gracie’s Guys and Gals Dance Studio in Hollywood, Maryland. She describes the studio as a friendly, family-oriented, clean studio for ages 3 through adult in many disciplines of dance. Their staff is very talented, some with college degrees in dance and some with professional dance background (Disney, Stomp, and Tap Dogs). Gracie and her staff are very pleasant and welcoming and their recitals are more of a show rather than a recital with elaborate stage decorations. They just expanded the studio this summer, and they have four dance rooms, a little café for the kids to hang out, with a sofa, kitchen counter with stools, , plus a large lobby with a TV for the parents.

In Gracie’s opinion, they are unique among other dance studios for a number of reasons including the fact they offer extra activities such as a Halloween Party and Dance and a Block Party to kick off the season with games. Additionally, they are involved in community services and shows.  They also have picnic tables and a playground outside with a basketball hoop and a very large lobby. Obviously, the studio thinks of the entire family and tries (more…)