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Tag Archive for Dance

Bunker Studio Interview with Kathy Bunker

Kathy 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.

The 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…)

Aspire Dance Studio Interview with Alexia Liavas

Aspire Dance Studio in Thousand Oaks, California, is owned by Alexia Liavas who is also the Company Director, a Choreographer and one of the teachers at the studio. Aspire’s mission statement is “We nurture and feed the soul, body and mind through dance.”  It is a place of nurturing through dance.  They teach their dancers to be the best they can be—not only in dance, but also in life.

In Alexia’s opinion what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is the fact that Aspire truly has amazing teachers who care about each and every student.  Each student dancing at Aspire is not just a number in a class, but an individual.  According to Alexia, they are there to help each student reach their highest potential and to be their best!  They also honor the artistry and history of dance, and go beyond just teaching “steps.”

Aspire offers beginning through advanced dance classes for students from 2 years old through adult. The classes they provide include Toddler Classes, Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Stretch & Strength, Tumbling, Jazz Technique, Musical Theater, Boy’s Classes and classes specifically for teens and adults.

In addition to offering dance classes, Aspire is the (more…)

Edge Studio of Dance Interview with Kim Kelliher and Jeannie Wozniak

Kim Kelliher and Jeannie Wozniak, the co-founders and co-owners of Edge Studio of Dance in Canton, Massachusetts, relate that they have strived to make Edge Studio a 13warm and nurturing environment to foster and encourage the love of dance.  There are three levels of dance training offered at Edge Studio so there is a fit for everyone and all types of dancers from the recreation dancers to the advanced company members. They pride themselves on making their dancers well-rounded in many styles of dance.  Edge Studio offers many styles of dance – ballet,  jazz, lyrical jazz, contemporary, tap, hip hop, improv, acrobatics and technique classes. Edge has also been recognized for its excellent in acrobatic training and the studio is honored to be certified through Acrobatic Arts.

Kim believes that their studio is unique among other dance studios because of their commitment to a friendly and inclusive atmosphere that stems from the top directors. They believe in having a healthy atmosphere so that they can focus on training and technique. Edge may be a competitive dance school but it is important to also help encourage their students to grow into thoughtful and compassionate young adults.

Kim’s proudest moments are watching the lifespan of their young students grow into talented dancers and (more…)

Amy’s All Star Dance Studio Interview with Andi Thompson

Amy’s All Star Dance Studio, in Schertz, Texas, is a Christian based dance studio owned by Amy Mucha, better known as “Ms. Amy.” Their office manager, Andi Thompson, describes their dance studio as a family based, people friendly school where everyone is welcome no matter what their dance abilities are. It doesn’t matter if they are an extremely qualified student or just beginning at the age of 12 or 13. They will help any dancer.

This year, they started a dance class for special needs children up to, and including, wheelchairs and leg braces which, in Andi’s opinion, is one of the things that separates their dance studio from other studios in the area. Andi’s younger daughter and Amy’s younger sister, Amanda, graduated from the University of Incarnate Word and was on the UIW dance squad. Her goal was to ultimately work in dance therapy with a focus on special needs children! Conse1quently, after waiting two years until Amanda graduated from college, Amy’s All Stars started this special needs class which Amanda teaches. As far as they know, they are the only studio in the area with special needs classes. Andi believes another reason they stand out is the fact that they (more…)

Tennessee Arts Conservatory Interview with Jennifer Harwell

Tennessee Arts Conservatory in Franklin, Tennessee, is classically focused, with pre professional and competition training.  They engage their dancers artistically and athletically and part of that is teaching injury prevention and nutrition.  For pointe, ballet, and choreography they focus on private coaching.  Additionally, they engage the students at a young age with choreography and one of the ways they do that is by letting them enter their choreography into competitions. The students have regular evaluations and ballet exams, and when they graduate, they are ready for a college program or a professional company.

Tennessee Arts Conservatory is owned by Jennifer Harwell where she is also the Artistic Director. Nashville in Motion, their Professional Dance Company, began as a unique artistic endeavor to bring audiences contemporary dance in collaboration with musical talent.

In Jennifer’s opinion, there are a number of things that set them apart from other dance studios in their area. One of those things is the number of guest teachers and Master Classes they offer. In addition, they offer a guidance program for dance as the next step for students entering their junior or senior year of high school. Tennessee Arts also offers Visual Art and Homeschool classes.  Last, they are developing a (more…)

Grace And Grooves Interview with Hetal Joshi

Grace And Grooves, an award winning folk dance studio is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. Ms. Hetal Joshi is their Founder and Artistic Director. They also do business as Grace Creations, an award winning fusion dance company, and Cqunce, Inc. Cqunce, Inc. is their non-profit effort to raise funds in order to help victims of crime.

Ms. Joshi describes Grace And Grooves as an elite, award winning Indian Folk Dance Company that specializes in Indian Folk Dances, Bharatnatyam and now Bollywood with straight history of Indian Performing Arts. Ms. Joshi completes 33 years of consistent training and performances and competitions in Indian Folk Dance, Bharatnatyam and off-late Bollywood.

According to Grace And Grooves’ mentors, their studio stands out from others because there has never been anybody in the entire Dallas-Fort-worth area that has straight background of Indian Performing Arts for so many years and that teaches technique focused Folk Dances of India. There are plenty of schools that claim to teach Folk Dance in name of Bollywood and other stuff they do, but they do not have experience and background as Ms. Joshi and her staff.

Ms. Joshi’s finds it is hard to single out her proudest moments as a coach. Examples of (more…)

Blue Lapis Light Aerial Dance Interview with Sally Jacques

Blue Lapis Light in Austin, Texas, is a site-specific aerial dance company founded by Artistic Director Sally Jacques in 2005. Her earlier works encompassed social, political, and spiritual themes. These performances have evolved to delve into movement through the air – extending limits, defying boundaries, and suspending graceful athleticism for the danger of igniting fleeting beauty.

According to their websight, “Blue Lapis Light seeks to transform urban environments into inspired works of art, creating beauty that transcends space in their expansiveness, connecting us to a sense of wonder, possibility, and hope. The company’s name draws from Ghandi’s description of a meditation practice, wherein the soul merges with Eternal consciousness taking the form of blue light.”

Sally reports their studios are situated on nearly three acres of land where they have two 27′ aerial dance studios with sprung wood floors and 20′ mirrors.  This provides a peaceful and tranquil environment for students attending their classes.  Company members are the instructors and provide an atmosphere of encouragement, support and inspiration.  Each of them is highly skilled in aerial arts as well as a number of them in ground dance techniques. They teach classes in aerial silks, harness instruction, as well as modern, ballet and yoga.

Her (more…)

Steppin’ Out Dance Company and The Next Step Dance Studio Interview with Darcey Sunken

Steppin’ Out Dance Company is Next Step Dance Studio’s competitive dance team and was created to develop a positive environment where serious dancers can grow as performers and technicians, as well as increase their self-esteem, self-discipline, and pride in their accomplishments. As members of Steppin’ Out, the dancers become more precise and enthusiastic, improve their dance technique, and learn how to be responsible team members. They value the process, not just the award at the end, and they encourage their dancers to appreciate all accomplishments, no matter how small. This process will help the dancers learn to respect others and themselves. It is also important to Steppin’ Out that their choreography and costumes are appropriate to each dancer’s age and technique level.

Darcey Sunken, is the Director and Head Coach of the Steppin’ Out Dance Company. Darcey grew up in a dance family and knew that she was meant to be a dance instructor by the time she was just thirteen years old. In 2010, Ms. Darcey followed her dreams and introduced The Next Step Dance Studio to Bloomington/Normal. Ms. Darcey was the owner of the Next Step until 2013, when she realized that her passion was annual studio showcases and the (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…)

The New Ballet School Interview with Dalia Rawson

The New Ballet School (NBS) in San Jose, California, is an American Ballet Theatre Certified School, and provides expert ballet training with a focus on dancer’s health. Additionally, child development classes are available for toddlers of the pre-professionals and drop-in adults featuring live music in the classroom. Providing unparalleled training for serious pre-professional ballet students, The New Ballet School is proud to feature the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum.

In the opinion of Dalia Rawson, the Executive Director, what separates their dance studio from other dance studios is their focus on training the “whole dancer.” Keeping in mind each student’s physical, emotional, and psychological health equips their students for success in whatever career path they choose and sets NBS apart from other rigorous classical ballet training programs.

Training at the New Ballet School focuses on developmentally appropriate instruction and dancer health for each student. Their certified teaching staff has many years experience bringing high quality artistic training to students ranging from 18 months to 22 years old.  The majority of their staff has danced professionally and understands firsthand the elements required for an artist’s development.

Dalia’s proudest moment coaching is when they see their students succeed, both with placements in professional companies and (more…)