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Tue, Feb. 18

Web Exclusive: Local studios seeking advanced dancers

For many in the Prescott area, dancing is one of the best ways to escape for an hour or two - and just have some fun.

However, as dance studios throughout the Prescott area said, adults in their 20s and 30s with an advanced background in dance might have a hard time finding challenging classes.

"For somebody that has a lifelong background in dance, you're not going to find many of your peers here," said Candy Quillian, owner and director of the Academy of Classical Ballet in Prescott Valley.

Unfortunately, Prescott doesn't have a strong dance community, she continued.

"My mission is to really bring dance (to the Prescott area) as a genuine performing art and as a discipline."

Representatives from The Dance Studio, the Academy of Classical Ballet, the Academy of Performing Arts, and Prescott Valley Ballet Arts said if they had a base of advanced adult dancers, they'd create a class to cater that need. However, all four studios emphasized they are a business, and therefore need to offer what people want.

The majority of their classes cater to children and teenagers. In addition, the studios do offer advanced classes in ballet, jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop, among others; however, teenagers fill those rooms, not adults.

"We don't have a big enough basis in Prescott to have a class for 20- to 30-year-olds," said Samantha Galloway, a teacher at The Dance Studio. "We actually tried classes like that in the past, but things happened, and classes got smaller."

Therefore, The Dance Studio offers only beginning classes for adults, she continued. Representatives from all four studios said if advanced adult dancers don't want to choose between taking an easy course or attending classes with teenagers, they should find others like them and come to a studio.

"That's a market I'd love to tap into," Quillian said.

All four studios said if a group of seven advanced adult dancers showed up, saying they wanted a class at their level, the studios would create one. They just need to see the demand first.

"I think it would be important to get (the word) out . . . It'd be nice to see more of a variety of ages," said Samantha Kimmel, office manager at the Academy of Performing Arts.

Dana Sharp, a student at Prescott Valley Ballet Arts, feels the same way. "I know that (teachers) would teach it if they had students," she said.

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