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The Greater Boston School of Dance Interview with Kerrin Michaels

Kerrin Michaels is Owner and Director of the Greater Boston School of Dance (GBSD) in Boston, Massachusetts. The studio prides itself on is being a place for students that want to take their dancing to a new level. The staff is dedicated to making students stand out from the crowd. They are passionate about teaching proper technique, but even more passionate about good sportsmanship, kindness and while at competitions appreciation and support of other studios!

Having a strong musical theatre background, Kerrin knows how important it is for dancers to be “triple threats.” Every year, the dancers have to sing in at least one routine. This year they competed with a Musical Theatre Tap routine to “Anything Goes” where they had a lead singer and the team sang chorus. GBSD tries to push their dancers out of their comfort zone and do something that will make them better, stronger dancers in the long run.

Kerrin’s proudest moments as a coach occurred during their competitions this year. Not only did their team take home multiple first place trophies locally and nationally, but their studio was awarded “kindness” and “backstage awards” at several competitions this season. It was those awards that they celebrated the most. (more…)

Kemper Dance Academy Interview with Jeni Kemper

Kemper Dance Academy (KDA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, strives to provide quality and professional instruction in all types of dances to all types of dancers in a positive and friendly atmosphere. Whether their dancers are training to be professionals or just dancing for their enjoyment, the benefits are endless. They endeavor to create not only well-rounded dancers, but well-rounded people with poise, confidence, discipline, and, of course, physical strength and endurance. They offer training in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Hip Hop and much, much more. They have classes available for dancers from 18 months old to Adult.

Jeni Kemper, Kemper’s Studio Owner and Director, believes that what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is that KDA offers classes no one else offers in Colorado Springs. In addition to bringing in top choreographers and performers from Los Angeles, New York and Chicago plus making sure the dancers have the correct direction to colleges or any other future goals they may have, KDA offers their JEDI program which is dedicated for dancers with disabilities. This program happens on Tuesday evenings and it is one of Jeni’s favorite classes to teach. Jeni says they keep her young, active and remind her that life (more…)

Footlights Dance Studio Interview with Amy Parsons

Footlights Dance Studio is a Christian dance studio with both a competitive track or performance only classes in Flower Mound, Texas.  Their focus is on growing and developing strong dance technique and performance ability in a more conservative, positive environment.  In order to keep their dance routines wholesome, they are careful with song lyrics, choreography and costuming.  Their instructors are highly qualified and great role models both inside and outside the studio space.  They have strong results at competitions and do multiple community performances as well as offering opportunities for conventions, master classes and trips!

According to Amy Parsons, Owner and Director, in addition to their careful selection of music, costumes and choreography, they want their students to still be able to be kids and participate in other activities where possible.  They believe very much that the joy of dance should be able to be shared by all, not just those dedicating ten hours a week to dance.  If a student wants to take a couple dance classes for fun and exercise, that’s okay! They also offer optional worship dance opportunities and devotionals at various times throughout the year.

Amy believes there are three main qualities that make Footlights unique. They are: 1) (more…)

Studio of The Month – Broadway Training Center

Broadway Training Center (BTC)   in Hastings on Hudson, New York is celebrating their 25th season this year. Located in a historic landmark building, BTC has a small town feel with big time professionals. They have comprehensive training in dance techniques at every level plus acting, voice, and Musical Theater departments for Kindergarten through 12th graders and adults! They offer classes 6 days a week throughout the school year and summer performing arts programs Kindergarten students through Adults. Their classes include various levels and combinations of Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Lyrical, Voice, Music, Improv, Hip Hop, Drama, Acting, Musical Theater, Broadway Jazz, Vocal Performance Cabaret, and Storyteller Theatre.

Their mission is to inspire, nurture, challenge, amaze, educate and empower artists and audiences. BTC is a not for profit 501c3 organization run by a board of directors and a small administrative team.

Broadway Training Center of Westchester, under the artistic direction of Jason Brantman and Fiona Santos, was recently awarded Best Theatre Classes in Southern Westchester by Westchester Magazine.  This premier performing arts school provides children, teens, and adults with Broadway oriented performing arts training focusing on the joy of accomplishment and the enrichment of personal expression through classroom and performance work.

At BTC, (more…)

Dance Connection in New Rochelle Interview with Linda Andrews

According to Linda Andrews, Owner of and teacher at The Dance Connection in New Rochelle, New York, (DC-NR) their studio has been open for 16 years and offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and ballroom dancing for children and adults.  (We recently wrote an article about a Dance Connection in Derby, New York. To differentiate between the two studios, we will refer to this studio as Dance Connection in New Rochelle or DC-NR.) The Dance Connection in New Rochelle is the winner of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Best of New Rochelle Award for the best dance studio!

The Dance Connection has been a downtown New Rochelle “go to dance” destination for over fifteen years. It is in a very cool building filled with artists – painters, sculptors, jewelry makers and musicians. It is the perfect atmosphere for a dance studio. Adults, teens and children flock to the award winning studio to take dance lessons from Tap to Ballet and Hip Hop to Jazz plus Ballroom. When they say ballroom, they mean everything from the Swing to Salsa, Tango to Waltz and Hustle to Bolero. DC-NR offers both private and group lessons. Additionally, they offer their popular Saturday Ballroom Dance (more…)

Keshet Center for the Arts Interview with Carolyn Tobias and Sarah Williams Gonzales

Since 1996, Keshet Center for the Arts, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has operated as an arts-based non-profit with the mission to inspire and unite community by fostering unlimited possibilities, through dance, mentorship and a creative space for the arts. Keshet Center for the Arts is home to Keshet Dance Company, a contemporary repertory company, Keshet’s education and outreach programming (KLab or Keshet Kinesthetic Education Laboratory) and Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center, a business.

According to Carolyn Tobias, their Communications Director, Keshet operates with the core values of inclusion, excellence, opportunity, personal growth, authenticity and fluidity. Their education and outreach program (KLab – Keshet Kinesthetic Education Laboratory) invites students from ages two through adult to grow through the experience of dance, no matter their economic capacity or physical ability. Their accessibility through unlimited non-competitive scholarships (youth under 18 years), and Adaptive Dance programming is unique to other dance education locations in New Mexico.

Keshet uses the model of movement + mentorship = metamorphosis (M3) to teach incarcerated youth self-esteem, confidence, teamwork and academics through dance.

 

Keshet’s Pre-professional Program, KP3, offers a rigorous curriculum for students who want to pursue a dance career, developing both skills and character. They hold a high technical standard for their (more…)

East Bay Dance Center Interview with Bonnie Sita

East Bay Dance Center (EBDC) in Oakland, California, creates more confident kids through dance. East Bay encourages their students to cross train in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, African Dance and tumbling.  They emphasize individual accomplishment, team work and a non-competitive supportive atmosphere.

In the opinion of Bonnie Sita, Executive Director, their dance studio stands out among other dance studios because they believe in teaching the “whole child” and enhancing confidence and life skills through dance. They do this by recognizing that every child is uniquely talented and feel it is their honor to support them in taking this talent to its ultimate expression.  Everyone is a star in their studio!  They also partner with the parents to provide what they really want and need – a supportive, safe and fun activity for their child that is making them stronger, smarter and more confident. In 2003, East Bay was named “Best Dance Studio in East Bay” by Oakland Tribune and in 2014, Parents’ Press named them “Best of the East Bay.”

Bonnie’s proudest moments coaching is\ when she watches the kids that she taught grow up in the studio and then come back and work for her during the summer as teenagers and young (more…)

Tooele Valley Academy of Dance Interview with Sarah Westhora

At Tooele High SchoolTooele Valley Academy of Dance in Tooele, Utah, is 100% ballet! Established in 2009 as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, they are able to reach their mission and goals through both private and public support. Both the City of Tooele and the State of Utah have funded their programs throughout these last few years. Additionally, individuals and corporations have donated to their cause. This enables them to produce high caliber performances and gives them the opportunity to offer scholarships to those in need. They are run by a board of directors. Sarah Westhora, the Ballet Director, sits as the Vice President on the board.

Their Academy produces two full-length ballets per year. She has personally directed Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Giselle and Sleeping Beauty. They also created their own ballet in 2012 based off Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. For each ballet they produce, they cast approximately 200 roles. They offer open auditions for the solo and demi-solo roles.

Tooele Valley also auditions a “company” of dancers for the season. These company members are encouraged to attend as many classes as they are able throughout the year and are given service and team building opportunities. They dance in every production as the corps de (more…)

Colorado Conservatory of Dance Interview with Julia Wilkinson Manley

Group PhotoAccording to Julia Wilkinson Manley, CEO & Artistic Director, Colorado Conservatory of Dance (CCD) in Broomfield, Colorado, believes in a better life through dance. Colorado Conservatory of Dance serves a broad spectrum of students every year and is committed to every student regardless of age, ability, aspiration, or socio-economic status. CCD students regularly win top honors at area ballet competitions and gain entry into some of the nation’s most respected college dance programs and summer dance programs. CCD provides its students with high-quality performance experiences that include a year-end Gala performance and CCD’s annual production of The Nutcracker, which brings students together with professional dancers. The school’s Student Company gives upper level students a pre-professional company experience that includes community education performances and culminates in an annual production at the end of each school year. Additionally, CCD provides a summer dance program, which attracts students from across the nation. Additionally, CCD is a non-profit dance education organization.

The Colorado Conservatory of Dance provides the highest quality dance education in both contemporary and contemporary styles.  CCD uses dance to foster community, create positive influence and inspire the individual.

They serve more than 400 students per year and are committed to every student regardless of (more…)

DanceCenter Ballroom & Latin Dance Studio Interview with Anne McNinch

PerformanceAccording to Anne McNinch, Owner, DanceCenter Latin & Ballroom Dance Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a great community of dancers young and old. At the DanceCenter, they do it all. They teach a variety of dances from ballet to bachata.  Their instructors are experts in their field with years of experience.  You can learn at your own pace in private lessons or join some friends in a group class. In addition to dance classes, DanceCenter offers monthly parties offered for beginners through advanced levels, Master Classes, Showcases, and much more.

They also offer choreography for wedding dances.  As a Bride Certified Vendor, DanceCenter is the place to help you make your special day absolutely perfect. They can tailor your wedding dance especially for you! You may decide to surprise your friends and family with a choreographed extravaganza, or maybe you just need a little help feeling more comfortable on the dance floor. Whatever you desire, their experienced instructors will get you there. Their wedding packages are designed to make your life simple. Along with your instructor, you can choose what options best suit your needs.  DanceCenter specializes in private lessons and/or group lessons with your wedding party.  Dance . . . it’s what they do!

DanceCenter is dedicated (more…)