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Friday, August 18, 2017

Belladance to Try A Few New Moves

Belladance takes on NYC.
The earliest records of dancing date back to 3300 BCE but despite more than 5,000 years of history, Belladance is trying a few new moves!

Belladance, owned and operated by Fort Thomas mother-daughter duo Julie and Bella Keller, has had an exceptional first year and finds itself expanding its facility and also its class offerings.

The currently vacant first floor of the Hiland Building will soon become additional studio space for the Kellers and other members of the Belladance team.  The additional space will allow them to offer a warmer welcome to the dancers as they enter the first floor and will also give them more flexibility in their studio space. Coincidentally, the space is also where Keller had her first ever dance class as a young student.

Perhaps more excitingly, Kristen Smith who danced this past season with the Cincinnati Ballet will begin offering adult ballet classes this fall at the studio.

However, the “most exciting and incredibly fun course that (Belladance is) offering”, according to Keller, is a tap class exclusively for boys called Tap Dogs.

Following the success of their summer classes geared toward aspiring male dancers, the Kellers have decided to expand to reach this underserved demographic.  Kelly Kuhnhein, Fort Thomas mother of three boys, two of whom participated in the summer tap instruction, said of the class, “It was a really great introduction to dance for my sons and it was so fun watching not only their skills develop, but also their love for and appreciation of the tap dance art form.” Teacher Maria Massa was more impressed with the way these young men presented themselves in class. "They listened and retained information so well and their unique presence made dance class that much more fun!"

Tap Dogs 
Keller is equally as excited for the new class based on the experience she had over the summer watching the boys learn tap skills with some of their favorite movie soundtracks playing in the background including Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and Batman.  John Kuhnhein, one of the students, said, “I loved performing the tap steps for an audience (...and) it was great to dance with my cousins and the other boys.
Ben Kuhnhein dances during Tap Dogs.
In addition, the young studio is celebrating a successful run at the New York World Dance Championships. Belladance streamed the competition live on Facebook where more than 5,000 people watched the competition team perform an exceptional tap routine before a large crowd and professional judges.  Keller was thrilled with the performance of her team, calling it the “Best Birthday Present Ever!”  

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Keller went on to say, “the senior girls exemplify the true meaning behind ‘team effort’; they work together like an incredibly well-oiled machine. They made their robes, do each other’s hair and makeup, made tie-dye shirts (…) and truly care about one another.”  Bella Keller stated that "this past year has been unimaginable! There were so many times in New York where we girls would just stop, look at each other, and say "Can you believe we are actually here!?" To think that this is just the beginning is so crazy. I'm even more excited than ever to see where this studio adventure takes us!" For many of the girls on the team, the highlight of this trip (aside from dancing) was the private tour of Radio City Music Hall to see where the Rockettes perform; in addition, many members of the team were able to catch Broadway musicals, including ‘Chicago’, ‘Kinky Boots’, and even ‘Hamilton’.

If you have yet to check out Belladance and the many dance classes they offer, be sure to visit their website or follow them on Facebook where you can stay up-to-date on the latest videos, classes, and success stories of this local studio, now in its second year.  Fall classes including the Tap Dogs class will kickoff the week of September 18 so call the studio now to reserve your spot.

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