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Tag Archive for musical theater

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…)

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…)

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…)

In Motion Training Center Interview with Lona Smith

In Motion Training Center (IMTC) in Hemet, California, offers a high degree of dance training, technical skills, proper tumbling technique, fresh choreography, and fun events throughout the year for all their students, recreational and competitive. According to Lona Smith, Office Manager and Instructor, the owners are ethical and highly qualified. They offer their services in a bully-free, equitable environment, where all students interact harmoniously and encourage and congratulate each other.

Four very important items that sets IMTC apart from other dance studios are: (1) Lifelong skills that are instilled in them at IMTC, which go beyond their dance and tumbling skill set are confidence, integrity, teamwork, respect, humility, good sportsmanship, camaraderie, and of course, seeking the upper echelon of any given activities they pursue in life; (2) By negating cliques and controlling bullying, the students are “unleashed” to perform at their very best, and subsequently excel at a much faster pace; (3) Professionalism with compassion: Every student matters at IMTC. At IMTC they take each student and guide them so that the student progresses to the next level; and (4) IMTC’s annual recital, Imagine, is a production of unparalleled pageantry for their students, families, friends, and local residents. The student’s pleasure and (more…)

Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance Interview with Dana McGuire

Team PhotoPriscilla and Dana’s School of Dance in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area, is a place to learn, grow and have fun. They provide dance instruction for dancers of all ages and abilities. According to Dana McGuire, Co-Owner of Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance, dancing and owning their own studio runs in the family especially, when you consider that Priscilla is Dana’s mom.

Dana believes that every studio is unique in its own way. She believes that P and D has an unbelievable staff.  They all love what they do, and truly want what is best for each dancer.  In addition, their dancers are very well-rounded.  One of the most common (and rewarding) compliments they get from judges is how versatile their dancers are. They excel in tap, jazz, ballet, musical theater, contemporary, lyrical, and hip hop.

Since 1969, Priscilla and Dana’s School of Dance has provided professional dance instruction in both recreational and competitive classes in tap, ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical, jazz and hip hop for children ages 3 and up.

They provide their dance classes in two formats – Combination Classes and Technique Young Girlclasses. All combination classes (i.e., ballet/tap/jazz) perform a routine in P and D’s annual recital. P and D’s specialized technique classes are (more…)

Jersey Cape Dance & Gymnastics Academy Interview with Stina Smith

Star Systems 2016The Jersey Cape Dance & Gymnastics Academy is located in Cape May, New Jersey. Cape May is located on the southernmost tip of New Jersey surrounded on three sides by water. Consequently, their studio draws from a very small area. Thus, the reason for their motto – “Small but Mighty.” According to Stina Smith, the owner and artistic director, they have about 180 students, with 17 of them on their competition team, ranging from 6 to 18 years of age. Despite their location they have been on three National television shows, America’s Got Talent, season four and seven and Paula Abdul’s Live To Dance.  The dance studio offers classes in Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Acro, Musical Theater, and all forms of dance gymnastics and contortion. They have All Boy Hip Hop Classes, Mommy and Me Class and Pre-School class.

Stina believes that what separates their studio from other studios in their area is their total dedication to high quality dance and gymnastics education. No matter the level of their students’ noncompetitive or competitive desires, their staff teaches with the same focus on good quality technique in all areas of dance and gymnastics. In the competitive world, Stina thinks (more…)

Beyond Words Dance Company Interview with Kate Jablonski

Bailee20Beyond Words Dance Company (BWDC ) located in Lyons, Illinois, is a performance group with a focus on contemporary dance. This award winning studio has been picked as one of the Top 50 Dance Studios in the U.S.A. to Watch for two years running – 2015 and 2016. The company also has opportunities to train and perform other styles including ballet, jazz, hip hop, and musical theater.

In the views of Kate Jablonski, the Owner and Artistic Director of BWDC, the difference between her studio and other studios is that while they value achievements in the competitive dance world, Beyond Words is much more than just a competition team. The second portion of the year BWDC focuses on creating an entirely new act from start to finish without the normal limitations of competition dance.  They have explored aerial work with ZFX Flying, dancing with light through Tribecca Academy, dancers have performed on stilts, they have silk climbed, and much, much more. This approach allows the dancers to be challenged in new ways each and every year while pushing the boundaries of dance in general.

In 2009, Kate Jablonski founded Beyond Words Dance Company in an effort to provide a positive channel for expression for (more…)

Karen’s School Of Dance Interview With Karen Kern

KarenKaren Kern, the Owner and Director of Karen’s School Of Dance  (KSD) in Highland, Michigan, describes their school as a family oriented dance studio that focuses on strong technique and team building. Their goal is to teach all of their students to DREAM – BELIEVE – ACHIEVE!

KSD has been serving the community for over 25 years, working to instill discipline, self-esteem, self-confidence, poise and creativity in all of their students through the art of dance. Their instructors are not only dedicated to teaching the highest quality of dance education, but also lessons of camaraderie, support and respect.

KSD does this by providing a fun, caring, and loving atmosphere in which each student may feel comfortable and excel at their own pace. Their staff loves what they do and it shows. They hope that every student learns to let the sheer love of dance shine through in everything they do.

Karen is truly devoted to making her studio the best possible. She is acknowledged for inspiring her students to always reach higher, instilling that determination and hard work will drive them to their personal best.  Karen believes that a studio should be more than just a dance studio; it is a space for dancers to (more…)

Reflections In Dance Interview with Kristen Karasek and Doreen Angarano

PerformanceIn 1983, award winning Reflections in Dance (“RID”) was founded by Doreen Angarano. A native New Yorker born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Doreen began dancing at the age of 9. After attending a local dance studio, she later studied at Alvin Ailey’s. Doreen’s passion became obvious by age 15, when she began teaching dance to the neighborhood kids. She also was the resident choreographer at her high school.

It is their mission to share their passion for dance with each of their students, inspiring them to be the best version of themselves. They support their dancers as they learn life lessons and encourage them, to believe in themselves.

Doreen became certified to teach all areas of dance, anatomy, and musical theater arts at Dance Educators of America. She wanted to bring her love and passion for dance to children everywhere and she wanted to include a professional feel to amateur dancers. Consequently, Doreen and her husband Mike opened their first dance studio in 1983 and, Reflections In Dance was born! Due to Doreen’s passion and love for dance their studio was immediately successful.

Ten years later, Doreen and Mike decided to expand. Doreen asked her assistant Nicole Donlon to join her as a co-owner and partner in a new Reflections studio on Staten (more…)