There is something that happens when music touches your soul and you just have to move, and two local entrepreneurs are making sure that young dancers have a place to learn and shine.
Vibes Dance Studio opened its doors on Nov. 2 at 603 9th Street in downtown Gothenburg, offering tap, ballet, clogging and hip-hop classes for the tiniest of dancers up to competition level teams.
Brittany Jesseph and Megan Aden are the masterminds behind Vibes. Ensuring there was a dance studio in Gothenburg was a priority for them after seeing the work their daughters and other dancers had put in to become an established community of artists.
“When it was announced that Gothenburg Dance Center was closing, we did not want to see dance taken away from the youth of our community,” they said in a joint conversation with the Leader. “It was an easy decision to team up and keep a local dance studio alive in the community.”
Aden and Jesseph have been dance moms for the past 10 or so years and have a tremendous understanding of all the behind-the-scenes work it takes to make an endeavor like this work.
“We helped the GDC owner during competition, registration and recital season and spent numerous hours in the studio,” they said.
In addition, Aden danced for 10 years at Kearney’s School of Dance and Gymnastics.
One of the biggest draws to opening Vibes Dance Studio, the duo said, was to help bring some normalcy back to the lives of the dancers who were missing that piece of activity and dedication. “For the returning girls to our studio that previously danced at GDC, dance was a big part of their lives and they missed it tremendously,” they said.
Beyond that, there’s the excitement of seeing young dancers grow.
“Watching the students gain confidence in themselves while they dance is one of the most rewarding things we will get to experience,” they said. “We are excited to be able to get our dancers out into our community to entertain once again. These kids are fun to watch!”
Dancing is a great activity for kids as they grow, and studies show that when a child dances they learn about how their bodies can move.
By utilizing different muscles through dance, children learn to coordinate and control their bodies, helping them develop spatial awareness.
Jesseph and Aden say they hope to help all the dancers at Vibes Dance Studio gain that comfort as they move their bodies, as well as a few other things.
“Our team of instructors will help build confidence in the dancers while they learn to express themselves through dance, as well as learning to follow directions, build coordination, becoming a team and build relationships with others,” Jesseph and Aden said.
Opening a dance studio in the middle of a pandemic means that there are extra steps that will be taken in order to ensure the safety of everyone who is on the premises.
Aden and Jesseph said that all dancers and instructors will wear masks at all times and hand sanitizer will be readily available.
As students enter and leave the studio, they will be given hand sanitizer and doors will be marked for entrance only and exit only to ensure a good flow in and out of the building to prevent congregation.
In addition to those protocols, bins will be provided to all combo class dancers for shoes. Those bins will be labeled to ensure that they are utilized by only that dancer.
Parents are asked to wait outside for their dancers at the end of class in order to limit the number of bodies in the studio at one time. All dancers are being asked to bring their own water bottle, labeled with their name and filled with only water. At this time, no snacks will be allowed in the studio as masks are to be worn at all times inside the building.
All of the instructors at Vibes Dance Studio are committed to safety and excellence and Aden and Jesseph are thrilled with the positive response they have received from the community.
The instructors at Vibes Dance Studio have a broad array of experience they will bring to the classes they teach, each with excitement for helping young dancers learn.
Katie Kreis started her dance career when she was 8-years-old and has been a competitive dancer for the past nine years. A senior at Gothenburg High School, Kreis’ experience includes clogging, hip hop, ballet, lyrical and tap.
Mashela Foster will be teaching the Tiny Tots Combo, Pre-K Plus Combo and Ballet I classes. A dancer from the age of eight, Foster has participated in tap, jazz, clogging, hip-hop, ballet and lyrical and has been a competitive dancer for the past five years.
Foster is a substitute para at Gothenburg Public Schools and is currently pursuing a degree in secondary education with an emphasis in history and Spanish.
Hayden Ricley felt the music move her at 2-years-old and has followed the path of dance through lyrical, hip-hop and jazz. A competitive dancer for the past eight years, Ricley’s favorite style of dance is clogging. As a sophomore at Gothenburg High School, Ricley participates in cross country, one-acts, track and field, speech, musical and softball.
“Our three teachers, Katie, Mashela and Hayden have already proven to be huge assets to the studio,” the owners said. “They each offer a plethora of knowledge of dance and experience, and their dedication to keeping dance alive has been exciting to experience.”
The vibe at Vibes Dance Studio is one that speaks to inclusion and acceptance, and the co-owners said they look forward to facilitating that foundation for all dancers.
“We want all dancers to feel welcome here,” they said. “We are here to motivate them and push themselves to be the best dancers they can be.”