When Amy Brinkman-Sustache was between the ages of nine and fourteen, she took three to six dance classes a week. For a dancer, that’s not unusual. she wanted to be dancing all the time; she couldn’t get enough.
“I loved to dance, of course!” Amy said bursting with her usual enthusiasm. “But also, the studio felt like a second home to me and many of my friends. It was a place that I felt safe, and where everyone around me shared the same dedication, commitment and enthusiasm for something that they loved. Dancing made us feel like nothing else could.
For much of Danceworks’ first 21 years, it has been challenging recruiting students in that 9-14 year-old age range—the age range where dancing occupied most of my free time. We recognized that this created quite a gap in the student community at Danceworks. I decided to make it one of my personal goals to help build that student population.
I am really excited to share the news that, in four years, Danceworks youth classes for ages 9-14 have grown from approximately 25 students in a handful of classes to more than 200 students in 17 classes!
There are many factors involved in that successful growth. One of the largest is that we’re now working with thousands of kids each year in Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap. Many of those students get hooked and continue their training through our studio classes. Another factor—or maybe a result of our success—is that we have developed a thriving youth performance company, Danceworks Youth Performance Company (DYPC), under the direction of Faith Halaska. Our DYPC dancers take several classes each week and rehearse together weekly, and they perform throughout the community.
I realize that Danceworks has grown to become that same second home to many young dancers, like I had when I was growing up.
Our “Saturday Night Fever” event on Saturday, April 5, will be our first-ever social event specifically for aspiring young dancers in our community, ages 9-14. It’s a night where young people can share their love of dance and meet new friends—with food, fun, dance-related activities and more.
Tell your favorite dancers to grab some friends and join us on April 5!”
Come join the fun! You can sign up right here–
Saturday, April 5
$10 per child
Welcome to the Danceworks blog, where we're hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks… what made us join the dance and keeps us dancing, what keeps us inspired, and where we can share some of the stories worth telling.