Congratulations to Gardiner residents Nancy Terranova and Janine Daly, who are celebrating the tenth anniversary of Got Rhythm? Dance Studio. Got Rhythm? opened in 2005 with 125 students in a 400 square foot room on the second floor of Gardiner Gables. One year later it moved to its current location on Osprey Lane. The facility includes two large dance studios with barres, wooden floors, mirrors, and viewing windows so that parents can watch their children in class, something especially important for the youngest students, who start at three years old.
The environment is very welcoming, with comfortable couches, a table with chairs for students to do homework, and a changing room, rest room, office, and dance shop. Decorating the walls are pictures of classes from each year the school has been open, images which lead students to identify friends and parents to recognize both their children and other children they know.
The philosophy of the school focuses on enjoyment and involvement. “We are a recreational, fun, affordable school,” said Studio Director Janine Daly. “We do not want a competitive environment. We want children to learn proper technique in a friendly environment.” She builds a relationship with each student and does everything she can to make students feel good about their dance class experience.
Approximately two hundred students take classes at the school in a wide range of areas – covering tap, ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical dance, and hip-hop – taught by six teachers, each with a specialty. For the younger students – aged three and up – there are kinder classes; students aged 5 and 6 take jazz and tap combination class and pre-hip hop. All types of dance are open to students aged 7 and up. There is even an adult tap class. Each June, all the students perform in a recital at Wallkill High School.
One of the teachers, who now studies at SUNY New Paltz, even started her dance career ten years ago at Got Rhythm?. Their most dedicated student is Frank Davis, a teacher and coach who retired many years ago from New Paltz Central High School. He continues to study tap and performs in the June recital.
Some students take one class a week, others two or more, but approximately twenty students take three or four classes a week. Each of the classes is fifty-five minutes. Students may be at the school one or more days a week, depending on what classes they are taking and the schedule of those classes. Enrollment changes throughout the fall – registration runs from June to mid-December – as students complete other physical activities and decide to take indoor dance classes.
Got Rhythm? contributes to the community by performing on Gardiner Day and by providing a chaperoned environment for after school activities. The New Paltz Central School District buses even drop students off at Osprey Lane – at three different times – and the children are met by school staff so that they can relax at Got Rhythm? in a safe, active, and chaperoned environment. They bring their own snacks, do their homework, and attend dance classes in the late afternoons. Got Rhythm? also cooperates with the Girl Scouts on a Dance Patch. During the ten months – September to June – that the school is open, the school also offers several types of birthday parties, holding several each month.
Launching a dance studio was Studio Director Janine Daly’s dream when she was seven years old. She started dancing at age six and a year later realized she wanted to own and operate a dance studio. In her youth, she babysat for many children, often leading them in dance activities and choreographed events. After completing an Associate’s degree in Performing Arts, she began teaching dance and has never looked back. Her enthusiasm for helping children feel good and her desire to help them realize that they can dance if they really want to have led to the success of this Gardiner business.