That’s Dancing: Bringing Excellence in Dance to our Community
That’s Dancing co-owners Andrea LaMaina and Michele Walsh answered our questions for this “AW Spotlight” piece to give us a glimpse into what makes their dance studio so successful.
What’s the best thing about That’s Dancing?
There are so many great things about the studio. Some things that we think make it great are the amazing faculty and staff that are committed to our students. With such an outstanding faculty, we are able to offer a large variety of classes for all types of dancers. We take pride in educating our pre-school aged students, elementary, middle and high school aged boys and girls, as well as adults. Our studio is operational 6 days a week and classes are offered at convenient times for all skill levels.
What’s unique about what you do? What makes you stand apart from others who do the same type of business, in your opinion?
As owners and artistic directors that both have come from college level dance degreed programs, we understand that students learn in a variety of ways. Our philosophy has always been to maintain a studio that gives individual attention and proper technique training in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Describe the scope of classes & training that you provide.
We teach ages 3 though adult in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Lyrical / Contemporary, Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop. We offer a Young Dancer Program for our students ages 3 – 6 that prepares them with the skills and vocabulary needed to have a successful transition into the upper level technique classes. We also offer an in house audition only dance company for more serious students. Our Fusion Force Dance Company performs for local benefits and well as competing regionally and nationally.
How long have you been doing this? How did you get started?
It is hard to believe that we are in our 12th season of That’s Dancing! We got started in our driveway! We would choreograph routines in our driveway to perform for friends, family and neighbors! It was a childhood dream for both of us and we couldn’t imagine not having each other or another job!
What’s the most challenging thing about this business?
The most challenging thing about our business is probably the same thing that challenges all working women. It is the constant struggle of balancing evening and weekend hours and family life.
What do you think your students appreciate most? What do you think the parents appreciate most?
We would have to say that our students definitely value the individual attention and support that our faculty offers. It is evident and very satisfying when current students write you little love notes or give you hugs and extremely rewarding when students that have graduated and moved on continue to stay in contact. Prior students still come back to help out during recital or just sometimes to stop in and say hello. They really seem to value the relationships that they built when they were students of That’s Dancing and make it clear that they want to give back for all that they have received. The parents feel good to leave their children in a positive environment and around role models that encourage learning.
What’s the male to female ratio of students? How do you incorporate male students into the choreography when, for example, there’s just one or two boys?
There are definitely a larger percentage of girls than boys. We range between 24 to 30 boys during a dance season. Obviously, boys become a focal point in choreography when they are surrounded by girls. We try to choose music and choreograph movements that accentuate their athleticism.
How has the “big show” at the end of the year evolved over the years?
The show is definitely longer these days! In year 1, we had 1 show that lasted about an hour. Today, we hold 5 shows that are 2 acts long each. The preparation and planning needed has also increased. Technology has also evolved during the 12 years. Our show is run completely by computer! Twelve years ago all of the lighting and music cues had to be run and called manually. This change has definitely led us to a much smoother and professional looking show. The most rewarding evolution would definitely have to be the technique level of our students. We put on a great show that sells out yearly.
What are some of the best honors or results you’ve seen, in terms of your past & current students?
Many of our students successfully audition for dance major programs at both BAK Middle and Dreyfoos High School. Students continue to earn spots in prestigious summer dance intensives. We have also had many graduates successfully auditioned for college level dance programs. One of our very first students completed her dance degree at New World School of The Arts in Miami and has returned to That’s Dancing this past season as a full time faculty member.
Numerous students have earned dance titles in regional and national competition. Our groups have received special awards for choreography and entertainment as well as technique. We have even had a student travel to Germany for an International Dance Competition placing 4th in the world! As a studio, we were recognized in South Florida Parenting Magazine as the Silver Crown winner for Best Arts Class. We have also been recognized as Best of Palm Beach and Treasure Coast for the past 2 seasons and are hoping to earn that spot again for the 2010 polling.
Tell us about your families.
Our mom and dad are the reason that this studio exists! They have been our support system throughout. We are so blessed that they have been able to help us realize our dream and watch us make it a reality. In the past 12 years they have been there for us through good and bad times. We have been able to bless them with 4 grandchildren as well! All of our children now dance at the studio and it feels amazing to be able to share this with them!
What’s coming up in the future at That’s Dancing?
We are excited to announce our 2010 summer dance program. Our six-week program will run from June 14th to July 24th, 2010. The six-week program consists of evening and Saturday classes. We have also increased our popular intensive camp from 2 to 3 weeks. Camp meets from 9am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday. We will offer a variety of exciting classes, master teachers and an informal Friday performance each week. Camp weeks are June 14th – 18th, June 20th – 25th and July 26th – 30th.
6169 Jog Road A-15
Lake Worth, FL 33467
(Corner of Lantana Rd. & Jog Rd.)