SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The Dance Factory is a vibrant, inclusive dance studio conveniently located in downtown Springfield next to the town library. Celebrating its 35th anniversary season this coming year, the studio boasts five experienced teachers and offers classes in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, hip hop, tap, and creative movement for preschoolers through adults. They emphasize quality technical training while encouraging a love and passion for movement and cultivating community.
Founded in 1984 by Susan Hagan and now owned by Kate Frizzell-DeRosia, the Dance Factory performances include an annual spring recital in May for all students and “The Nutcracker” each December features ballet students. Over the years, ticket proceeds from these performances have been donated to community organizations. The studio has raised over $30,000 in the past 35 years to support the arts and drama programs at our local schools and Habitat for Humanity.
The annual Nutcracker performance has evolved in the studio’s 35-year history. Its inaugural season in 1990 took on Act II only. Clara opened the show as part of the tableau and sat in a wicker chair with her Nutcracker. The following year, the studio performed a full-length version of the production and has continued to do so annually for most of the last 28 years. Founding Director Hagan recalls, “The expansion of the show over the years has been astounding. We began with virtually nothing and today we have a fully built set and costumes for the entire show.” The performance is fully cast with students and community members; no professionals or outside dancers are cast in the main roles, as many other performances do, with lead roles featuring the most advanced dance students.
Teachers Kate Frizzell-DeRosia, Gretchen Abendschein, Ashley Hensel-Browning, Dana Blake, and Jessie DeRosia thoroughly enjoy dancing with you and your little ones during the school year and summer sessions. All together, they have logged 102 years of experience teaching dance. They believe strongly in creating a welcoming space that is truly inclusive of all who want to participate. Their focus on the student as a whole person helps to create a feeling of acceptance, warmth, and connection while also challenging students to grow.
Over such a span of time, there are many former and current students and families that have been touched by the Dance Factory. One mother shares, “The Dance Factory has had such an amazing impact on our family’s life. My daughter has developed a passion for dance, fueled by the fun and encouraging environment. It’s so welcoming.” Another mother shares, “I watched my kids having such fun, that last year at age 45 I decided to start ballet! I’ve got to tell you – these teachers at the Dance Factory have improved my life. I realize now that self-care for me includes dancing.”
Registration for this coming year is open now. Contact Kate at 802-875-2561 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to participate in the 35th anniversary season of the Dance Factory. Visit the website at www.dancefactoryvt.com to learn more and see photos of past productions.