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Local studio features educational dance instruction



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Michelle Larnard instructs the rest of her class while offering Kiran Stump. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
August 15, 2012 - All great dancers start somewhere.

It's usually as a child in a dance studio under the tutelage of a dance instructor who cares and Lake Orion now has an outlet for young men and woman who want to express themselves on the dance floor.

Broadway Dance, owned by Artistic Director Michelle Larnard, wants to more than the studio where little girls get to play ballerina. They want to exemplify everything there is to know about dancing.

"We practice education based dance curriculum here - we follow a syllabus, we learn the names of the steps, we learn the definition and we correctly execute the steps," said Larnard. "We break it down. It's not just throwing a name of a step out there. These students can go anywhere and know whats going on after our classes. All of my teachers have gone through college for dance, they have a major or a minor in the subject and they have numerous years of experience."

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Lanard, who started dancing at the age of two, said he studio promises to be more than the average ballet class. The business takes dancers from two to adult and does zumba, yoga, vinyasa and more with certified instructors. The dance classes include ballet, jazz, tap, acro, hip hop, lyrical, turns and leaps, creative movement and more. The studio also offers combo classes for younger kids which allow a beginner to experience multiple classes before choosing what to specialize in.

Suffice to say, Broadway Dance is for people who want to excel at the art.

"Classes are small for individual attention, floors are sprung (have padding underneath) to protect dancers' knees and joints, there is a viewing window for parents and we have ceiling to floor mirrors, changing rooms and just a family friendly environment," said Larnard. "While in class we used terminology, the students have journals so they record everything they learn, they learn their critiques, new steps and everything else. Students here have been able to perform in summer dance intensives with the Dance Theatre of Harlem of New York (a summer dance intensive in Detroit), they have been to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and we have kids that have won scholarships at dance competitions at a regional level."

Larnard opened the business after teaching at a studio and realizing she would be happier with her own expression of the art. Dance encompassed her life prior, however and she has been dancing throughout high school and college, after which she got her first job teaching in a studio. In her own words, she's been training for her current position her whole career.

Competition teams are available for dancers looking to push themselves. Ages available are five to 18. Classes start Sept. 10 and run through June with an annual recital at Lake Orion High School. Prices range from $35 to $120 and fees are tuition based.

A grand opening is planned and will be announced on their website at broadwaydanceco.com. They can be contacted at 248-693-2555, by email at michelle@broadwaydanceco.com or at their Facebook page.

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