Our studio would not flourish without the effort and dedication of the entire staff. Actual class time is a small percentage of the time dedicated each week to running our studio. Many hours each week go into the behind-the-scenes preparations which include, but are not limited to, weekly lesson plans, choreography, sizing and ordering costumes, cleaning, and scheduling and planning events.
Studio Owner, Director, and Choreographer
I started dancing at the age of 3 years old and have studied at many different dance schools throughout the country, from Pittsburgh, PA, Kenton, Ohio, Laurinburg, NC, and Erie, PA. I studied jazz, tap, ballet and clogging over the years. As a young adult I studied jazz at West Virginia University where I auditioned and became part of their Mountain Jazz Squad. I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management from West Virginia University and went on for my Masters in Counseling from Shippensburg University. I am the mother of two wonderful daughters who have helped me immensely in teaching children along with my counseling background.
With over 35 years of dance training, I continually study various dance styles and techniques. My teaching style includes lesson plans for class, warm-up stretches in every class, across the floor combinations and center work. I believe in teaching terminology along with technique beginning with even my youngest students. Terminology is a big part of any dance lesson. Our studio's main focus is jazz and tap, some ballet is offered along with a lyrical jazz class as well. Our dancing school is a welcoming place for students to grow and develop self-confidence. I have very fond memories of my dance teacher in North Carolina, Karen Gibson from the Gibson School of Dance. She taught me my real love for dancing and showed me how a teacher can truly inspire her students. I, too, strive to instill a love of dance in each and every student I teach.
Our program is not about me as a teacher, but the students and their talents. This comes through in all of our performances. I will never take center stage to my students and our shows project the students' hard work and dedication. Our music selections are always child appropriate along with any costume choices. As a parent myself, I can very easily understand this concern. There is no other dance studio as child friendly as ours and we make every effort to maintain this sort of atmosphere. We do require dedication and commitment from your child and we keep our program very professional and organized. Our dance studio is the type of place that your child can grow and flourish.
Sam has been dancing for 13 years and was taught at Studio '91 in Mechanicsburg, PA. She learned ballet, pointe, tap and jazz. She's attended a lot of the special classes the dancers at Spirit of Dance are given the opportunity to go to such as the Fall Frolic, Capital Kickline and even attended classes with Holly Evans. Her favorite style to teach and perform is jazz. Miss Sam loves being apart of the Spirit of Dance family! She loves watching the dancers grow and help them learn every week!
Chelsea has been dancing for 15 years at her home studio Dance Dynamics. Over the years she has experienced different basic forms of dance, lyrical, ballet, jazz, musical theater, hip-hop, and tap. She had the privilege of becoming a student dance instructor at her dance studio and ran classes on her own. Throughout those years she has worked with students between the ages of 3-13. After graduating high school, Chelsea wanted to continue her education at Shippensburg University. She also wanted to continue her passion for dancing, so she became involved with the Shippensburg In-Motion Dance Troupe. After being in the area, Chelsea heard about The Spirit of Dance studio and could not wait to continue her love for teaching there.
Stephanie began dancing at the age of five, and has trained in competition ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, contemporary and lyrical. She has choreographed a musical, a drama, a male beauty pageant, and for her college dance team. Throughout middle school and high school she has acted and danced in many musicals/dramas. She enjoys fitness, writing poetry, and baking cookies when she is not dancing. She attends Shippensburg University, and is a member of In-Motion Dance Troupe. She would like to thank Natalie for this opportunity to teach at The Spirit of Dance Studio!
Bethany is a distinguished honors student at Big Spring high school. She has danced with The Spirit of Dance Studio for the past 7 years and prior to that trained in the Carlisle area for 4 years. She has been a dance assistant at The Spirit of Dance Studio since we opened in 2007. She loves hip hop, tap, and jazz along with a new class which she will be instructing Pom Dance. She also enjoys reading, writing poetry, and creating art. Not only is she talented but she is a generous soul donating time to help others. If you ever need assistance in a dance class, Bethany is the one to ask.
Gianna Baker is the youngest of our dance assistants at The Spirit of Dance Studio. She is a 5th grade distinguished honors student at Big Spring and has been dancing with The Spirit of Dance Studio for 7 years. She is active in other sports such as her summer flag football program, basketball and track. She enjoys hip hop, tap and lyrical styles of dance. She hopes to join a competition dance team in the future and also get a scholarship to play basketball in college. She is a true gift at our studio and always remembers choreography for all of our dances on stage.