Studio rhythm holds second recital, looking towards the future

For the second year in a row, Studio Rhythm School of Tap performed for the community. Having just ended their second year of operations, they culminated with a grand performance at the Roberts Reinke Auditorium in the Hettinger School. The theme of this year’s recital was ‘Celebrating the 1920s.’

The Hettinger Soulsisters line up during a dance routine at the Studio Rhythm School of Tap recital. The event was held at the Roberts Reinke Auditorium in the Hettinger school.
The Hettinger Soulsisters line up during a dance routine at the Studio Rhythm School of Tap recital. The event was held at the Roberts Reinke Auditorium in the Hettinger school.

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

For the second year in a row, Studio Rhythm School of Tap performed for the community. Having just ended their second year of operations, they culminated with a grand performance at the Roberts Reinke Auditorium in the Hettinger School. The theme of this year’s recital was ‘Celebrating the 1920s.’

Jess Corean, who owns and operates the studio, moved to Hettinger a few years ago, and when the community had learned she had an extensive background in dance and studio operations, they approached her about offering classes.

Corean’s favorite dance style is Tap, and being the only teacher she decided to make that her only focus if she was going to offer classes.

“I think Tap carries just the best parts of what dance is suppose to be,” Corean said.

Her standard Tap classes feature kids ranging from four years old to 18 years old. This year they did implement a ‘pre-dance’ class for two and three year olds called Creative Movement. The Creative Movement group was featured as the finale during this year’s recital.

Corean teaches classes in both Lemmon and Hettinger and has enjoyed working with both communities.

“Lemmon itself is just such a great family town and they really just have such excellent attitudes,” Corean said.

She commented on Hettinger as being “the hometown I never had,” and said she can’t believe she only has been a resident for a few years.

Corean also has students from the Scranton area that come to Hettinger for lessons.

Nearly all of the students performing at this year’s recital are returning students, something Corean said was a testament toward the family support her dancers have.

“They’ve been very devoted, and the families are so encouraging,” Corean said.

During her first registration last year, Corean said her hope was to get 50 kids signed up. It turns out there was much more interest than she thought. Both years of studio operation she has had over 100 kids participate. But she hopes it can get bigger.

Out of all the age groups, Corean said high school-aged girls are where she would like to see it grow. Mostly because she remembers that period of her life being a time when dance really started to make an impact with her.

“I hope to see it grow, and I hope we’ll see more high school girls that will be attracted to it,” Corean said.

Last year Corean didn’t start until February. This season they began when the school year started and she is very happy with how much improvement the dancers have shown since they started from the ground up last year.

“I am amazed and delighted at how much the dancers have improved from last season,” Corean said. “I hope the community walked away with that saying ‘wow, these guys got a lot better, look how much they’ve improved in one season’s time.’”

During the recital this year Corean decided to try some new things. One was to allow the dancers to sit in the first few rows of the audience. As Corean said, they just wanted to see the show too.

The older kids really stepped up for Corean, she said. Looking around for volunteers to work the backstage, Corean and her group couldn’t find the volunteer numbers they had last year, so she looked internally at the older group of students. Helping run the backstage, and guiding the younger dancers, Corean said it worked out very well.

“It was great, I couldn’t believe how smoothly it went,” Corean said.

As for what she thought about the overall recital performance, she said it was a “home run” and said that she “felt so good about how it came together.”

Corean displayed incredible patience during the recital. Younger dancers would approach her with questions or concerns, sometimes in the middle of a group’s performance, and she wouldn’t hesitate to stop and give them attention. She attributes that to her maternal instincts and the fact that she knows all of her students well.

“I’m comfortable with these kids, there’s a lot of them but I feel I know each one of them personally,” Corean said.

So what does the future hold for Studio Rhythm?

Corean recently leased space at the Armory in Hettinger.

She has spent the past two years renting out space in the Friedt Photography building, and said that she was very appreciative of the space, and that having a presence on Main Street really helped launch the efforts of Studio Rhythm. But she feels that now is the right time to move on to her own space where she can come and go. Her plans this summer is to do some work on the space she’s leasing, and that she wants to be a part of the efforts to revitalize the Armory.

“I am thrilled to do that because I want to see the Armory utilized in the community,” Corean said. “I hope that this will be something that encourages other businesses to use the Armory.”

Recently, Corean became a certified Holistic Life Coach, and though her primary focus is on teaching dance, her longterm plan is to make it a wellness center offering different programs for the community. She previously held a winter wellness program in Lemmon for the elderly of the community.

Though the dancing season is over, Corean still has work to do. Fixing up the new space and making plans for the next season, but she wanted to share her thanks for the support.

“I would like to just say a thank you to the families that have really embraced the program, and the community,” Corean said. “I really just want to put out there the thank you to the community for their encouragement and for their acceptance of it.”