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The Studio: A Dance Center for Adults

By Allison Wilson

The Studio is a Boston-area dance center dedicated exclusively to adults, offering them a place to begin or continue dance education, get a full-body workout, relieve stress and meet new people.

It's a novel concept because most dance studios cater to children and teens, offering few if any classes that fit working adults' schedules and needs. Sue Kunicka, Owner and Director at The Studio, set out to change all that.

"I had been teaching dance to kindergarten, primary and elementary school students at Boston Renaissance Charter Public School for six years, as well as adult education classes at Brookline Adult & Community Education and Boston Center for Adult Education," Kunicka says. "I learned that adult students have a wonderful childlike curiosity and enthusiasm, but no time needs to be wasted on behavior management or assigning grades. Adult learners are in class voluntarily. They are not taking the class as a prerequisite, but as an end in itself: to try something new, expand on their prior education, or deepen their understanding of a particular interest. That experience inspired me to open The Studio."

The Studio offers private and semi-private lessons and drop-in classes in ballet, pointe, belly dance, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, tap and dance fitness. Instructors also host special workshops that focus on a particular style not typically offered at The Studio, such as African or contemporary ballet. Kunicka says the ballet classes are among the most popular because students enjoy the required mind/body connection needed to achieve the precision.

"Adults love the attention to detail and the aspiration and pursuit of perfection that's always out of reach," she says. "Ballet is never done, and it's one of my favorite styles to teach because I can demystify it and make it accessible and less intimidating by explaining how physics and anatomy come together to create beautiful illusions of the seemingly impossible."

Lyrical and contemporary classes are also very popular. Beautifully blending ballet, modern and jazz techniques, these styles are usually set to contemporary music with vocals or just instrumental bars. The classes focus on technique, improvisation, posture, flexibility and dance presentation.

The class variety offered at The Studio is a welcome improvement over the limited adult offerings at most dance studios, which typically include ballroom and other partner-style dancing. These studios also often require students to commit to a 6-to-8-week session, with no refunds for missed classes. The Studio requires no advanced registration or session tuition payments, and does not charge additional or hidden fees. It also offers punch cards for 10 or five classes, both of which may be used for all drop-in classes. This feature makes The Studio a favorite fitness option for adults who hate to exercise but love to dance.

"Dance classes offer a different approach to fitness," Kunicka says. "It's an interesting alternative or supplement to the typical gym-based workout routine, helping to tone the body by building long, lean muscles, improve flexibility, coordination and stamina."

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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