At Studio B Dance Academy our mission is to provide all students regardless of gender, race, and background a well-rounded technical foundation in a non-competitive environment, foster their creativity and self-expression, promote body positivity, and encourage community involvement. As the Artistic Director of the studio, Miss Katie strives to not only educate her students in the field of dance, but also in the field of life teaching valuable lessons that will further them as young adults. All students are given the same opportunities and are expected to always give their best as we look for improvement and not perfection. They learn through hard work, dedication, optimism, and teamwork that the sky is the limit and are supported throughout the way.
The general philosophy of the studio focuses on integrity and honesty. We show this in the way we treat each other during classes and performances as well as in our movement. At Studio B, we believe in the grounded traditions of dance knowing that the number of turns we can do or the height of our leg does not dictate our true talents as a performer. The dance legend Martha Graham once said “Dancers are not great because of their technique. They are great because of their passion.” Passionate people are at Studio B Dance Academy who are passionate about teaching dance and have a true love for their students.
Providing a sound technical education
With a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Slippery Rock University, Miss Katie provides a sound technical education that puts extra emphasis on the basics of dance to cement a solid foundation that will only enhance more advanced movements and skills down the road. Throughout class, correct terminology is used to allow students to understand the movement entirely and not just repeating the visual. All classes, especially Tap, incorporate rhythm exercises, games, and learn basic music theory to build a strong relationship between dance and music. Continuing our knowledge of the dance is also of high importance. As a studio, field trips are taken annually to dance performances in Pittsburgh or Buffalo that allows students to experience a live professional performance and gain a better appreciation for the arts. As an instructor, Miss Neidich travels to conventions and conferences each summer to explore the new trends in the dance world, take class as a student, network with other studio owners, and bring back new techniques and teaching tools to better the studio and the students.
Promoting Positive Body Image and Healthy Habits
The desire for young men and women to have that perfect image is so very strong in today’s youth. It is because of this that Miss Katie has designed a special weeklong program “Love Your Body Week” to celebrate the reasons why we should love our bodies and take care of ourselves using positive self-talk. Even though it is only “celebrated” once a year, the students are always encouraged to be positive when talking about themselves and others. The words “I can’t” are not allowed in our vocabulary and replaced with “I can” and “I will”. Aside from the mental side of body positivity it is especially important that students take care of their bodies and therefore proper warm-ups and cool downs are a part of each class to prevent them from injury. Together, we lift one another up to strive for the best and each day that the students say to each other “You can do it!” is a wonderful day at the studio!
Fostering Creativity and Self-expression
Today, with the emphasis and implementation of standardized testing and the rise of technology and social media, it can be hard for students to build upon their sense of creativity as potential artists. As we mature, the idea of thinking “outside of the box” and being your own person can be frightening for children who so desperately just want to blend in and find comfort. At Studio B, we promote individuality and expression. After all, dance class can and should be a way to find release. Therefore, classes not only consist of building technique and routines, but also short choreographic and improvisational exercises to strengthen that creative side. For more advanced classes students are given guided improvisational exercises to find new ways of moving their bodies or asked to create short phrases according to specific criteria which they then teach back to their fellow classmates. Younger classes are given fun games like “Dance Phone” or “Name That Tune” to find new possibilities. In this way we are able to open up our students to new opportunities all while playing games!
Community involvement is an important part of the studio and each year we continue to add in new events and activities to better the Bradford area. The Queen B Performance Troupe spreads their passion and talent for dance throughout the fall performing for events such as the Autumn Daze Car Show, Pumpkinfest, Old Fashioned Christmas, and First Night. It is a way for the girls to bring spirit and energy into the town and help others to gain an appreciation for dance. All students share in this experience when they perform their annual recital showcase each June at the Bradford Area High School. Each June more and more members of the Bradford community attend this performance to share their support. Other than performance opportunities, students participate in the yearly “Clean Up Main Street” Day and will be assisting at the 2017 YMCA Kids Fest. Within the studio, students help each other out by participating in our dancewear exchange program in which they may donate gently used dance clothes and shoes to those in need.