By Catherine Twing, Contributing Writer
Grafton – Although 2020 was a hard year, one Grafton business hasn’t missed a beat.
Beatz Dance Studio, a family-owned and operated studio, is focused on teaching high quality dance for dancers of all abilities. They quickly adapted to going virtual and now all of their classes are offered in-person and online.
“We offer dance for children and adults with and without special needs, and are available to anyone who wants to dance,” said co-owner and teacher Cindy Libbey.
Libbey co-owns the studio with her two daughters, Alycia and Lynsey Beatrice. The studio name actually comes from Lynsey’s nickname in high school – Beatz.
Both daughters began dance lessons at a young age and went to school for dance. Alycia is a special needs educator at a local high school, so welcoming dancers with special needs was the plan from day one.
Welcoming students of all abilities
“Our very first student to sign up was a girl with Down syndrome, and our second student also had special needs,” Alycia noted. “They had issues finding studios where that was a core value. For us, half of the studio is special needs.”
Libbey shared a story about a student whose mother had been trying to find dance classes for her daughter since she was three. Beatz was the first studio to not only say “yes,” but to eagerly ask when they could start.
Beatz Dance Studio is also unique because they offer both recital and non-recital programs.
“It’s great for children looking to do something but not ready to commit. Or if they play sports, it’s a great way to try it short-term,” Libbey said. “Especially for little ones, they don’t have to commit to a year of dance, they can commit to a small session.”
As a mother of two girls who at times took 10 dance classes each, Libbey knows the importance of keeping rates low. They also have scholarships.
The studio offers a variety of classes from ballet and jazz to hip hop and musical theater. They focus on fun and friendship, not competition.
Adapting to the restrictions of the pandemic
Last year they had to postpone their recital from June to September. It was held outdoors at Vandervalk Farm in Mendon. They broke the day into segments so family members could watch while following safety guidelines.
Lynsey described that during the planning process they went from Plan A, all the way to Plan Z. And they are prepared to do whatever they need to in 2021 to be there for their students.
“It’s cool to develop relationships with our students whether in the classroom or virtual. It’s become almost a core part of how we teach now. We’ve learned things that will be beneficial even in the future,” Lynsey said. For example, color squares on the floor to maintain social distance can also be used as a fun learning tool.
They are doing their best to maintain value even when the classes are virtual and believe this model has helped them stay strong this year. Students can easily switch to being virtual if they need to do so.
The staff at Beatz Dance Studio is excited to continue their classes in 2021, as well as bring back adult classes.