By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Hudson – A dancer since the age of 2, Caitlyn Dias has incorporated her love of dance into almost every facet of her life and shares her passion for this art form with her students.
One of seven children, Dias and her six siblings all continue to work together at Dance On Dance Center, which is owned by her mother, Lori Gorgone. Her father and step- father are also involved. Dias has been teaching various forms of dance since the age 14 including ballet, tap, modern, hip-hop, jazz and more.
She attended Johnson State College in Vermont and majored in education and psychology. There she was part of the Dance Club and a member of the Dance Collective. She also taught for the nonprofit arts organization RiverArts. Through them, she obtained a job teaching hip-hop at a women’s correctional facility as well as the local mental health center for teenage mothers.
“I moved back home to Hudson after college to be back with my family, and by that I mean my dance family as well,” Dias said. “Your family goes beyond your blood and I also consider the teachers here my family. I also had an opportunity to work at Worcester State Hospital in the PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] unit. I taught hip-hop which was very well received.”
Dias began working as an applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapist, as a one-to-one aid for children on the autism spectrum. After three years, she became a preschool teacher and currently works full-time as a kindergarten teacher in the Hudson school district.
“Even though I work a full-time job, I have always continued to teach dance after work, in the evenings and whenever I can fit it in,” she noted. “I typically teach an average of nine classes with ages ranging as young as 2 and going all the way to adults.”
There are typically two recitals each year in the winter and spring. Dias shared that although these allow the students to showcase what they have learned, they are encouraged to be themselves really enjoy this art form.
“I think what really differentiates our studio, Dance On Dance Center, from others is that here you actually feel an energy when you walk through the door. Everyone is welcomed with open arms. All of us strive to make each student feel accepted, motivated and encouraged. It’s just the coolest place. It’s not about how high their kicks are; it’s about their passion. It’s a place to grow as a dancer and a person,” said Dias.
Dias continues to enhance her teaching skills by taking master’s classes in all dance areas. She volunteers as the co-coach and choreographer for the Hudson High School’s dance team.
Her passion for dance is evident and she loves sharing that with her students. She loves the challenge of new choreography and seeing her work performed on the stage.
“I think I will always have a great passion for teaching and spreading the love of dance. It’s just who I am,” said Dias.
Dance On Dance Center will be moving to Main Street in Hudson in June. For more information, visit www.danceonhudsonma.com.