Artistic Director * Owner * Teacher:
Welcome to our world of dance!
Since I was a young child, I always loved the way seeing someone dance made me feel. There’s something about the ability to express yourself through dance that intrigues me. Whether it be the strength and endurance of a seasoned Ballerina, the precision of a Tap Dancer, or the authenticity of a Talented Break Dancer, I am sold!
I always knew that I loved to dance because it made me feel great when I took class or performed. Coming from a lower class family, taking many dance classes was not an option for me. Whatever my mom could afford for me to take, I took, and was grateful. Dance became my outlet from the world. Times were tough and going to dance class made all of that disappear.
In class, I would literally tap my troubles away. I came to not only enjoy my classes, but rely on them for balance in my life. As I grew as a dancer, I realized that what I was feeling may also be felt by others. I’ve always enjoyed helping others, being there for friends, and assisting people that seemed like they needed a helping hand. I knew that teaching was my calling….
So, I embarked upon studying Elementary Education with a double Major in Psychology at Rhode Island College. While in college, I became a teacher at my local dance studio, worked 2 other jobs to make ends meet, and made a plan for my future by marrying the love of my life. I loved what I was learning at RIC but I didn’t feel that it was the right place for me. I knew in my heart that I wanted to own my own studio.
While in my Final year of College, I decided to drop out of Education against my mother’s advise. She loved me and wanted what was best for me and she felt that teaching at a school seemed like the wiser choice for me rather than taking a chance on a career that was already very competitive in our small state. I agreed, but my heart did not. So, I was literally “almost done” when I backed out of the program. I finished with receiving my Bachelor's degree in Psychology and studied as many dance and fine arts classes as I could. I enjoyed every aspect of the arts and wanted to learn as much as I could while I was in school.
Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t list my dance credentials. Let's back-track a bit…..
After teaching dance for three years, I studied and tested to become a Member of Dance Educators of America. I scored very high on my tests and passed with flying colors. Making me a certified Member of their Dance Organization. Through Dance Educators of America, I was able to take lessons from many prominent teachers in the Dance Industry. Many of them are very well-known today for their accomplishments. Teachers like Mike Minery (Break the Floor), Pam Bolling( Choreographer for Justin Timberlake & NSYNC), Mia Michaels (Emmy award winning Choreographer from So You Think You Can Dance), Jose Sanchez, Chuck Kelley (DEA President), and many, many more throughout the years.
It was at these conventions and in the classes that I took at my own local studio and at RIC that I realized the type of teacher that I wanted to be, or not be.
As a Teenager, I began to compete and did very well. We always received Gold Medals (Platinum Medals weren't even conceived yet)or placed high in the rankings. But competition left me feeling empty. It began to feel a bit negative and I didn’t know why. I found that it was a rigorous schedule that always seem to have the same result. I didn’t like being compared to others and I really didn’t like the negative energy that I felt from other dancers whether it be from other studios or my own studio at the time. I never needed a trophy or medal to validate my talents. I was my own worst critic, therefore even if we received a Gold, I always wanted to do better, not becuase I thought my best wasn't good enough but because I wanted to be better and stronger.... I found that I was very natural at self-motivating and that I enjoyed motivating others as well.
I performed in Walt Disney World, Virgina Beach, in Fashion Shows, Hair Shows, and Pageants. I directed Dance Camps and Afterschool Dance Programs. I created new Hip Hop classes and choreographed numerous routines for my local dance studio while I was teaching there. I was a National Finalist in a National Model Pageant held in Providence R.I..
I decided that I would become a performer not a competitor. So a fellow dancer and I choreographed a routine to “Recipe for Love” when we were around 20 years of age and performed it as the Opening Act for Shari Lewis & Lamb Chop. It was an invigorating experience. We were able to meet Shari Lewis and chat a bit. She was a very sweet woman. She told me to follow my heart in all that I do. At this particular event, we were able to speak to children about dance and it was there that my dreams were solidified.
My dream finally came to fruition in 1999. To The Pointe of Performing Arts, (which was aptly named because many people have told me that I don't beat around the bush, I am direct and "to the point" what you see is what you get is what I've been told, and I liked the play on words, so there you go) opened it’s doors in August with 10 students. I finished off the year with 71 students in total. Each year after that I doubled and tripled enrollment. I came too realize that I had found my calling in life.
At the beginning, I was the only teacher, teaching everything from Ballet to Step Aerobics. Now, I have a staff of 15 and many, many students to be thankful for. I have experienced many births while owning TTP. First of all, the births of my three amazing sons. Second, The births of my staff member’s beautiful children. Third, the births of two additional locations that are adorned with the To The Pointe name and legacy.
I thoroughly enjoy teaching all styles of dance to students of any age. It makes me very happy when a student “gets it”. I enjoy teaching my students how to be the best they can be through hard work and dedication. I try to teach them how to be their best selves on a daily basis. I work hard to motivate our students to feel good about themselves and not matter what they are perfect the way they are. I encourage our students to give 110% in all aspects of their life, not just dance. It is important that we as teachers at TTP, are good role models, we understand this greatly.
We also understand that each and every student is important. We treat each student the same regardless of who they are, or how many classes they take in a week. We also know the each student learns differently and that it is our job to come to know each student, their learning style, and figure out how we can help them to grow as a dancer and positive individual.
We provide a very welcoming atmosphere, one that is vibrant with positivity and camaraderie. We also enjoy being organized. It makes for a positive experience for all when you are organized and communicate well. We take pride in our abilities to provide a positive experience to our dancers and their families. We try to make our studio better each year through updated curriculums and clean and constantly updated dance rooms and reception areas.
I believe that a quality dance Education should not be compromised by high tuition rates. I aim to keep our rates as reasonable as possible so that children of any economical background can partipate and enjoy what learning dance has to offer. I also feel that learning dance in a fun and positive atmosphere does not mean that we don't teach our students in a structured and disciplined manner. We instill a dress code that not only respects the Art but also provides us the opportunity to make careful corrections on body placement and movements because we are not hindered but baggy clothing and in appropriate dance attire. Our atmosphere is full of positive re-enforcement and our lessons are filled with accurate terminology and growth potential for dancers who possess Beginner through Advanced abilities. Dancers are always learning no matter their age or ability.
I am so proud of what To The Pointe has become. I am extremely thankful for the gifts that God has given me to be able to influence so many lives through Dance Education. I am thankful to have such a dedicated and loyal staff. Many of my staff members were former students, friends, or fellow co-workers of mine. We have been together for what seems like “forever”. We work as a team and support each other at work and on a personal level. I am grateful to have all of them in my life.
Because of having dance in my life, I have been able to perform and see my students perform in Walt Disney World, on Cruise Ships, and in many local fundraisers and events. I enjoy providing these performance opportunities to my students and their families. They will make for wonderful childhood memories. Through these events, our Annual Holiday Spectacular and June Recitals, we teach our dancers how to be professional, organized, responsible, and dedicated. They learn that dedication is it’s own reward with immeasurable benefits.
Besides teaching and overseeing TTP's daily events, I also watching my sons enjoy their activities such as Gymnastics, Football, and Dance! It's great to be a mom at TTP and see the other side of the coin. I truly love watching my children do what they love. I also enjoy Traveling, Painting, Drawing, Interior Design, Running, Listening to Music, Reading my favorite Books, Writing Scripts & stories, Cooking, Baking, and cuddling with my mini Chinese Shar Pei named Romeo. Most of all, I enjoy spending quality time with my family & friends.
I cannot finish without thanking my husband for all of his support and love. From supporting my dancing as a teenager through the ideas of opening a studio and seeing it come to life, he has been there through it all. He makes it all possible through his support and participation in our home life as he is a wonderful father, cook, and stead fast supporter of anyone who follows their dreams!!
I hope that you take a look at our website and really come to see what we are all about. We would love for you to join our dance family. We know that you won’t be disappointed. Please feel free to call us or email us with any questions that you may have!
We promise to teach lessons that will last a lifetime.