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Tag Archive for Jazz

Beautiful Feet Academy of the Dance Arts Interview with Julie Oliver

Julie Oliver, the Owner and Director of Beautiful Feet Academy of the Dance Arts in Caspar, Wyoming, describes her studio as dedicated, fun, and a little bit crazy! Their dance team is called “Beautiful Feet” based on Isaiah 52:7 in the Bible, which says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.” According to Julie, they exist to bring the good news through dance that God sent us a Savior in Jesus Christ. “Let them praise His name with dancing . . .” Psalm 149:3a

 

Julie’s proudest moment as a dance coach is seeing their dancers be brave enough to stand on their convictions in the midst of extreme pressure.

In Julie’s opinion, all dancers have their own technique mistakes or “flubs,” but she believes that one of the most pervasive and common problems is simply allowing their nervousness to show. She believes that the dancers can look the judges and audience in the eye and really step out of their comfort zone to present and perform, that makes a HUGE difference and also tends to draw attention away from other technical mistakes.

Their student’s value to Beautiful Feet does not depend on his or her dancing skills (more…)

Jenae’s Dance Experience Interview with Jenae Duncan

Jenae Duncan, Owner and Creative Director of Jenae’s Dance Experience (JDE) in Conyers, Georgia, describes her studio as being focused on professional and affordable technical training from 3 year old beginners to 18+ year old advanced dancers.  They test on terminology and teach Traditional Ballet, Tap, Jazz, West African (accompanied by live drummers), Hip Hop, Pointe and Beginners Tumbling and Competition Team Training.

In Jenae’s opinion, what separates their dance studio from other dance studios are the classes they offer and the way their studio is structured.

Jenae’s proudest moment coaching was surprising their students with their brand new 4,125 sq foot studio space.  JDE started at the Boys and Girls club, moved into Jenae’s basement, back to the Boys and Girls club and is now filled to capacity in a studio with 3 different rooms.  They’ve gone from no mirrors to ceiling to floor wall to wall mirrors, from carpet to wood floors, from wall support to free standing Ballet Bars. They have lockers, a parent lounge, TV’s in every room for dancer reviews and playbacks, chalk board wall sections in every room for terminology and notes! It is an amazing feeling for Jenae.

The biggest mistake Jenae has seen dancers make today (more…)

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…)

Center Stage Dance Studio Interview with Mary Pilalis, Director

Center Stage Dance Studio, in Bloomingdale, Illinois, is described by Mary Pilalis, their Director, as a great studio with a family environment that includes the nationally renowned Aspire Dance Company, the Center Stage Dance Studio Performing Troupe which performs at community events, and their 30 weekly recital classes. This year they are excited to add a tumbling program.
For Excellence in dance, Center Stage has been serving suburban Chicagoland for over 15 years. They pride themselves on not only being the biggest dance studio in the area but also the best! Center Stage is a family owned and operated business based in Bloomingdale. They offer Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Dance Poms and Tumbling. In addition, they offer technique classes or recital classes and classes for both boys and girls. Whatever you think you are looking for, we have the perfect class to suit your needs.
Center Stage has been named by the Federation of Dance Competitions as one of the top 10 dance studios in the United States, by Dancer Magazine as one of the top 25 dance studios in North America and by the Daily Herald as the best place to dance in (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…)

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…)

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…)