Friday, February 24, 2017

A Time To Dance

Among all of the favorite ballet studios of mine, that I have had the privilege of teaching at while on tour all around the country with Ballet Magnificat, such as Leap of Faith (OH), Christ In The Arts (TX) , Texas Youth Ballet Conservatory, as well as Mercy Steps School of Dance and North Florida Ballet Theater which I have only just recently discovered this past month in Florida; I have been meaning for quite some time, to introduce to you guys THIS OTHER fantastic, newly discovered studio that I got to teach at back in October. 

The fantastic studio I'm referring to is called A Time To Dance. This studio located in Montrose, CO provides a fun, friendly, welcoming environment that fosters learning and growth for all students enrolled in the recreational dance classes there. I had such a blast teaching at A Time To Dance. I noticed the sweet environment right off the bat, and discovered all the students to be so enthusiastic, and quite a delight to work with and teach! I also had the wonderful pleasure of getting to know Miss Catherine a little, the founder and director of A Time To Dance. And she even agreed to let me interview her about her life, her studio, and her thoughts on hosting a Ballet Magnificat dance workshop. Check it out below! 


Lillian: Tell me about yourself?

Catherine: My dance background began when I was 16 months old, when I was placed in my first dance class. My grandmother, Margie Myrick, was my dance teacher and owner and originator of Myrick School of Dance in Roanoke Rapids, NC. I loved dancing and danced all through my grade school years.  During that time I attended many dance conventions, dance competitions, and I assisted with dance at Myrick School of Dance. I continued my dance education at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where I majored in Theater and minored in Dance. After graduation, I returned to Myrick School of Dance and taught with my grandmother and my aunt, Jeane Myrick Newsome. My husband, children and I moved away from NC in Spring of 1998, to Meridian, Id.  I was blessed to be given a job as a dance teacher at Backstage Dance, where I taught classes in two different cities. In 2000, we moved to Montrose, CO. Again I was blessed with a dance teaching job. The studio I was working at had several events that led me to believing I was no longer needed there.  I was going to just babysit a friend’s child and be a mom, for a change. 

Lillian: How did you come to be the owner of 'A Time To Dance' in Montrose, CO?

Catherine: The opportunity presented itself for me to open the studio in 2003. As I had mentioned, I felt like the studio, where I was employed no longer needed me and I was going to do other things. Well, God had other plans for me. I was babysitting a friend’s child when I was led to pull into a parking lot and look at a possible studio space.  I had not been in the market to open a studio, but felt compelled to look at this. Through the windows, I could see so much potential, when in reality, it was a mess. I got extremely excited! It looked like it could be similar to the studio I grew up in, with some work… Let me step back a bit...When I married my husband, I told him I could live anywhere, as long as I could try to start a studio and if it could break even, I could continue. My husband, Tim, and I got with the landlord and looked at the location. The owner said he could have it cleaned and ready for business in 4 months. My husband could see in my eyes, I didn’t want to wait that long. My husband, my family, friends, and I worked for 2 weeks straight, to get the studio ready for registration. I prayed that if this was meant to be that God would allow it. Tim asked me how many students I thought I needed to make it break even? I said 40. I prayed that God would give me those 40 students. After my final day of walk-in registration, Tim asked how many students I had registered? 41! And the rest is history… God continues to bless me with the opportunity to teach my passion to others. I chose to name it A Time To Dance, from Ecclesiastes 3:4. 

Lillian: Wow, God is SO FAITHFUL! How long has your studio been in business?

Catherine: The studio has been in business going on 13 years, since 2003.

Lillian: What are some of your favorite things about directing and owning your business and what are some of the challenges?

Catherine: I love owning my own studio because I love to bring the joy of dance to anyone who wants to dance. Even those who claim to have “2 left feet”. If they want to dance, I welcome them! I find it challenging to have to deal with the financial aspect of running a studio. I am not a numbers person and would prefer not to deal with it, if that were an option.

Lillian: What can parents and their children as students expect to get out of taking dance classes at 'A Time To Dance'?

Catherine: 'Dance For The Fun Of It' is our motto. We know that many dancers in our area have other activities that they participate in. We hope that they find dance fun and fulfilling. A student here can be a recreational dancer or one who really wants to be pushed in class. They will be taught at a steady pace and will receive individual instruction as needed. We teach technique and press harder with those more serious dancers, but understand that not everyone wants to be a prima ballerina. Students can expect to be able to feel at home at A Time To Dance. Our goal is to have every student love being at the studio and enjoying dance! We are a family friendly studio, monitoring our music and dance moves to make sure that nothing is offensive or inappropriate. We are also very proud to say we have such sweet, friendly dancers that are always ready to welcome a new face. 

Lillian: What kind of dance classes does your studio provide? 

Catherine: Our studio teaches dancers as young as 2 up through adults. Most of our students are 4-18, though we do have adult students. We have many varieties of dance styles. Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop Style (leaving out the inappropriate moves that can often be associated with Hip Hop) Tap, Clogging, Acrobatics and Musical Theater.

Lillian: What performance opportunities are offered to your students?

Catherine: A Time To Dance has a year-end recital, in May. It is a two-day performance opportunity. We also have a Winter Showcase, in January, which is an evening event. Dancers also are offered the opportunity to perform at any events the studio is invited to. Dancers have performed at Assisted Living facilities, youth events and schools in the area, as well as local festivals. We do have a small group of competitive dancers who compete several times a year, usually in Denver or Colorado Springs. 

Lillian: Being that you sponsored our Christian ballet company, Ballet Magnificat, are you a believer yourself? If so, how does your faith influence the way you run your business?

Catherine: My faith influences my choices in dress code, music, dance moves and costume styles, causing censoring of all aspects.

Lillian: Do you consider your studio as being a Christian based studio?

Catherine: We do not promote A Time To Dance as a Christian Dance Studio, however when students and parents are around for any length of time, they do get the sense that we are.

Lillian: What do you desire for students enrolled at your studio to learn or take away?

Catherine: I would like students, enrolled at A Time To Dance, to take away from their experience, a love of dance, a good knowledge of dance, that they are in a safe place where you can make mistakes and not be judged, and that we care.

Lillian: How did you first hear about Ballet Magnificat?

Catherine: I have seen Ballet Magnificat performances at our local venue and was introduced to the idea of having the workshops at A Time To Dance by Abbey Burkholder, a student at A Time To Dance, who was blessed to be accepted for the summer intensive, and attend at Ballet Magnificat.

Lillian: How was your experience hosting a Ballet Magnificat mini-workshop at your studio?

Catherine: The Ballet Magnificat workshops were a wonderful way of giving our dancers a chance to experience a higher level of dance education and to give them inspiration to work hard in their dance. For some, it was a realization that there are Christian dance companies out there, where they can further their dance education and excel, in a safe, Christian, environment. The Ballet Magnificat company members were wonderful with my students. They were kind and compassionate when making corrections. They were professional and fun. We loved having them at the studio and hope to have them back in the future. 

Ballet Magnificat Alpha Member, Sarah Hill teaching ballet class
at A Time To Dance, Montrose CO


Special Thanks To Miss Catherine Frates for taking the time to answer all my questions!
Thanks for Reading!
Leave a comment to let me know you did! And if you are a teacher or student,
Why don't you tell us a little bit about your dance studio!? 

Visit>>> HERE to read about my trip with Ballet Magnificat Alpha to Colorado and more!

   Have You Read...  

No comments:

Post a Comment