On any given day, there’s a pretty good chance that you pass a dance studio when you’re driving to work or school. If you’ve ever taken dance classes or dropped your child off at the studio, then you know what goes on during a typical day: hours of hard work, sweat, and of course, fun that go into making the show, recital or competition the best that it can be. That two-minute dance in the year-end recital is the result of months of dedication and learning. All dance teachers put their heart and soul into teaching young dancers to grow and strengthen in technique as well as in their love of dance.
To take a look at a day in the typical dance studio, I went back to the studio I grew up in…literally my second home. Although a couple years have passed since I danced there daily as student and an assistant teacher, it’s comforting to know that things are still the same. Dance shoes, costumes, and costume catalogs are spread throughout the studio, while the gong for the famous “Gong Show” tap game and photographs of former classes decorate on the walls.
Just before nine o’ clock on a cold Saturday morning in February, cars pulled into parking spaces and girls hopped out, with their hair pulled into a bun and dance bags thrown over their shoulders. Their friendly chatter and laughter fill the quiet studio as the lights turn on for the day.
The advanced class gets down to business immediately: Competition is quickly approaching — only six weeks left — and the dance is starting to come together. The taps on their shoes glint in the sunlight through the windows and fill the studio with synchronized clicking and clacking. Meanwhile, a second competition group practices with tap floors and stools for their dance…all while remembering to smile!
Younger girls file in, watching the older girls with awe and admiration through the windows from the waiting room filled with moms and siblings. Their ballet class starts, and they warm up at the barre and go to the beginning of their recital dance.
In the back room, the older girls have moved on to acrobatics class while the younger girls switch into their tap shoes. Music and lyrics from songs like “Movie were Movies” and “Bandstand Boogie” float from each room and add to the everyday sounds in the dance studio.
Finally, the littlest girls make their way in to class, hair pulled back and fluffy ballerina tutus over their leotards.
The teachers and student assistants lead classes all day, filled with energy and their love of dance. The dancers look up to them with love and excitement as they enjoy another Saturday of dance classes at the studio.
To check out a photo slideshow of my day at the dance studio, click here!