FLEX Performing Arts Co-Founders Reflect Lifetime Passions for Dance While Celebrating New Studio Grand Opening | Arts | San Luis Obispo
Local dancers and performers of all ages and skill levels are invited to âtense their muscles and point their toesâ at Grover Beach’s brand new studio, FLEX Performing Arts, which celebrated its grand opening in late August.
It was important for studio co-owner and artistic director Brianna Deveraux-Allen, a frequent choreographer for the dance department at Allan Hancock College and the Coastal Performing Arts Foundation, to call FLEX a “performing arts studio and not only dance studio â. she explained.
“I want the theater to be very present at FLEX, mainly because I have seen first-hand the positive impact it can have on young people, especially in terms of confidence,” said Deveraux-Allen. “Not to mention it’s so much fun.”
Deveraux-Allen developed a passion for theater while choreographing several musicals over the past five years, but her initial strong point was choreographing concert-style dance pieces for shows like Dance Spectrum and Hancock’s Dimensions in Dance. (both traditionally held at the Marian Theater in Santa Maria). .
âI’ve always loved working on Hancock’s shows. They always have such a fun, positive energy, and the actors at every gig always end up feeling like family,â Deveraux-Allen said. âI danced and choreographed for many of their semester concerts. That’s how I first met some of the instructors who now work at FLEX.â
Resumes for current FLEX staff Kimberly Eaton, Cynthia Valenzuela, Ben Reyes and Horacio Heredia include roles at Hancock, and one of the studio’s acting instructors, Natalia Noriega, is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory Theater (PCPA) .
Similar to how his younger students might one day recall their earliest memories of dancing, Deveraux-Allen cannot recall a day in his life when dancing was not one of them.
âI don’t remember not having danced,â she said. “It’s hard to quantify the truly positive impact this has had on me as a youngster.”
Deveraux-Allen added that she cannot “overestimate the importance of physical activity in the lives of children and adults” because it “promotes health, fights depression, reduces stress, helps us feel better. sleeping strengthens bones and muscles, the list goes on, âshe said.
âWhat I love so much about dancing is the marriage of athletics and art. You can nourish your body and soul with great activity,â she continued. âNot only do we strengthen our bodies, but we strengthen our hearts and minds by creating art. Not to mention the sense of family and community that it brings. It has brought so much joy and positivity to my life. and played a huge role in making me who I am. ”
The longtime Central Coast resident said she was 4 when she started taking dance lessons. Jennine Dunne, who co-founded FLEX with Deveraux-Allen, beats that starting point by about a year.
âMy passion for dance has been around for as long as I can remember. I started taking up ballet at the age of 3,â said Dunne, co-owner and studio director of FLEX. “I immediately fell in love with dancing and the ability to express myself through dance.”
Throughout his childhood and teenage years, Dunne continued to take ballet lessons, while adding jazz, hip-hop and contemporary dance to the mix. In high school, Dunne joined the cheering team and a conservatory modern dance group, and “was always the first on the dance floor at parties,” she said.
While originally from Los Angeles, Dunne called the Central Coast her home for over two decades (she currently lives in Arroyo Grande). One of the reasons she wanted to help start a new performing arts studio in the Five Cities area was to give her 10 year old daughter and her friends a place to “do what they love to do. “she said.
âI feel especially fortunate that my business partners and I are able to provide this new studio for him and his peers,â said Dunne, whose daughter also started dancing at a young age, younger than the two FLEX co-owners.
âWhen my daughter was about 18 months old, I started her in a ‘mommy and me’ dance class,â Dunne said. “My daughter has always loved music and movement. It’s quite special to have a daughter who shares the same passion and to see her grow and flourish as a dancer.” ??
Calendar editor Caleb Wiseblood grabs his dancing shoes. Send your comments to [email protected]