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Tag Archive for dancers

Funk Fusion Company Interview with Chante Erby

According to Mrs. Chante Erby, the Director of Funk Fusion Company in Morrilton,

Arkansas, Funk Fusion is all about building confidence in dancers and taking them to

the next level. They pride ourselves in teaching each student the basic fundamentals and

give each one the same amount of one on one time. They work hard and push for

greatness.

In her opinion, what separates Funk Fusion from other studios is their ability to move

their students from city to city to allow them to learn from different instructors. They

also have professional teachers that give their hearts to the students. Chante believes

that it is very important for the student to know the basics of dance before they move a

student to the next level or on a competitive level. Funk Fusion does not move students

unless they showcase all skills needed first.

Chante’s proudest moments coaching occur when she is watching students grow up and

graduate High School or even College with the love of dance. There are always past

students that remember all the good things she has taught them about dance and life.

Some of the big mistakes Chante sees dancers make are dancing on a competitive level

without the knowledge of proper dance techniques. She will not allow any of her

students to (more…)

Leigh Purtill Ballet Interview with Leigh Purtill

Leigh Purtill of Leigh Purtill Ballet in the Pasadena/Los Angeles, California, area teaches beginner through advance ballet, including pointe. In Leigh’s words, she puts her dancers on stage! They perform at least twice a year – a spring show and Nutcracker.

She also has an amateur ballet company, Leigh Purtill Ballet Company, which is for adults only. In the past, the Company has performed small sections of Leigh’s original ballet, Sweet Sorrow, at venues such as the popular horror convention, Scare LA, in Pasadena and at the ARTNight Pasadena. They will be producing the full length version in October as the first full ballet of their repertory.

Leigh is always looking for performance opportunities for her students so they can experience dancing on a stage in front of an audience, learn choreography and costume design, and in some cases, fulfill lifelong dreams. She loves hearing from students that their dreams have come true when they finish a Nutcracker or other story ballet she has produced.

Leigh’s proudest moments as a teacher occur when she sees beginner students who have never performed in front of an audience or on a stage, who have never played a character or danced choreography, really blossom on stage. Then (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…)

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…)

Ella Marie School of Dance

Ella Marie School of Dance in Hicksville, New York, is owned by three partners – Michele Rosner, Catherine Golub, and Ann-Marie Anderson. They are also co-Directors. Since the three partners were children, the Ella Marie School of Dance has been a very integral part of their lives. They all began learning from Ella Marie Columbo as little children and have grown up at the studio, taking lessons and studying the basics, progressing to student teachers, then full dance instructors, choreographers and now directors. They have over 75 years of combined dance teaching experience and have shared their love of dance with thousands of children, and adults, over the years. They provide a welcoming, non-judgmental, supportive studio in which children and adults can express themselves through dance.

As proud parents, each with two children, the partners fully grasp the importance of having well rounded children, who develop a passion for the arts and have a desire to continually grow and learn. As professionals they are also students regularly training through classes and conventions in order to bring new styles and inspiration to their students and they take special pride in developing talented dance instructors who focus on continual education in dance instruction.

According to (more…)

Unique Steps Dance Academy Interview with Melissa Medeiros

Melissa Medeiros, Owner and President of Unique Steps Dance Academy in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, performed with Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Additionally, she received her BFA from Dean College and holds a masters’ degree in expressive therapies with a focus in dance movement therapy from Lesley University.

At their studio, they are not about just creating great dancers. They are about creating great people. They firmly build their studio on the foundation that they must respect and love one another first and treat everyone with respect regardless of any differences they may have. They believe in fostering positive self-esteem and self-awareness through their programs by building their dancers up, not tearing them down. It is an important focus of all of their programming that participants leave feeling good about themselves.  Their program encompasses several aspects. They have a training track which includes a performance team who does not compete but rather shares their love of dance with the community through local performances at fundraisers, nursing homes, and schools. These dancers perform at a yearly recital as well. They also offer a therapeutic track which is designed for dancers with varying levels of social-emotional and cognitive delays. The goal of this (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…)

Alma Dance School Interview with Vilma Machin

Vilma MachinAlma Dance School (ADS) in Wheaton, Illinois, is a Cuban method professional ballet training facility for young talents interested in building a strong foundation in ballet and pursuing a career in dance. ADS is owned by, and under the direction of, two Cuban principal dancers and award-winning coaches: Guillermo Leyva and Vilma Machin. Both are former professional dancers and experienced teachers who have coached many students. Under the direction of Guillermo and Vilma, students have entered the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix Competition, winning both New York finals and Midwest regionals. Alma Dance School focuses on developing dancers under the very technical, elegant and powerful Cuban method of ballet. This method allows young students to increase their self-discipline, attention, strength, flexibility and agility, not only in ballet, but in other forms of dance as well. At ADS, they have four ballet divisions that offer classes, ranging from basic ballet technique for new dancers to pre-professional classes designed for students needing the tools and techniques to pursue a career in dance. The skills taught at Alma Dance School could easily lead to a career as a professional dancer or even acceptance into a variety of college programs. The Children’s Division is coordinated (more…)

Scoil Rince Daryl Rose Interview with Daryl Goldes

Scoil Rince Daryl Rose (SRDR) is an up and coming Irish dance school with classes in Simi Valley and now in Santa Clarita, California. [Scoil, pronounced “skull” means school and Rince, pronounced “ring-kah,“ means dance.] SCRD is dedicated to preserving Irish culture through dancing. While many people are familiar with shows like Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, they are not aware of the fact that they can learn to perform that form of dance right in Simi Valley or Santa Clarita in California. Students who come through their doors learn teamwork, self-esteem, work ethic, and have a greater appreciation for Irish dancing. According to Daryl Goldes, TCRG, the owner and director, “[Y]ou don’t have to be Irish to do Irish dancing!”

The acronym TCRG ablack&whitefter Daryl’s name is the abbreviation for the Gaelic Teagascoir Choimisiuin le Rinci Gaelacha.  In order for a teacher to be qualified to place “T.C.R.G.” behind their name, they must have passed their Irish dance teacher’s examination, been certified and recognized by An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha. The acronym is usually used because most people outside of Ireland have never learned how to properly pronounce the Gaelic way of saying “certified Irish dance teacher.”

The uniqueness of Irish (more…)

Belly Motions, Inc. Interview with Luisa Molina

Belly DancingSpecializing in World Dances in a class format designed for adult women who want to start dancing at a later age, they offer authentic Middle Eastern, Indian, African, Hip Hop, Zumba and other specialty dance and fitness classes, Belly Motions, Inc., located in South Miami, Florida, is driven by a selective team of professionals dedicated to their students and the performing arts. Portia Lange, Founder and CEO, founded Belly Motions in 2005 in order to empower women of all ages through dances that celebrate differences in body shapes and sizes. For this article, we interviewed Luisa Molina, their Director of Business Development. Not only is Luisa the Director of both the KIDS Programs and Business Development, she is also a Belly Dance instructor and performer.

The staff has experienced many proud moments as Belly Motions’ instructors, but their favorites tend to be when they celebrate their students’ birthdays during their dance class!  This is a sure reminder not only that their students enjoy Belly Motion’s studio, but that they LOVE and want to be here to share their gratitude on their special days.

In Portia’s experience, she has found that women tend to be very competitive with each other.   At Belly Motions, they (more…)