Editor's note: This is part of a series the Aiken Standard will run on local dance studios. To have yours included or to send us suggestions, email Stephanie at email@example.com.
The teaching never stops at Burns Dance Studio.
The mother-son team of Rhoda and Corey Burns aim to keep their studio active year-round. Classes include jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary and hip-hop.
Children and adults can take lessons.
The studio auditions for two groups – the halftime company and the performing company.
The halftime company performs at area schools. Within the last month, the group has performed at University of South Carolina, Midland Valley High School and South Aiken High School. Corey created this company in the early 1990s.
The performing company attends conventions and competitions throughout the year. This year, some of those students will attend Myrtle Beach's Velocity convention on scholarships.
“In class (last year), they were singled out and given a free weekend to come back,” Rhoda explained.
In March, the performing company will present its Evening of Dance show for the public. It will be a chance to view all the competition pieces, Rhoda said.
The studio's three high school seniors, Allison Burrell, Kayla Calvert and Mercedes Egan, will have solos.
Rhoda and Corey began the performing company in 1995.
Burns Dance Studio was founded in 1982 by Rhoda. Corey assumed the role of director from Rhoda last summer.
Since his promotion, classes such as adult jazz, special needs and all-boys have been taught.
New dance floors and observation windows have been installed, and new teachers Taylor Shelley and Erin Levenson have joined.
Shelley started her dancing at Burns Dance, while Levenson learned in Sumter.
Other teachers include Kristin Allen, Ariel Asouzu, Megan Moneyhun, Ashley Barton and Casey Frails.
Frails and Barton are the only other teachers to have studied at Burns Dance, according to the studio's website. The rest have a background of either teaching or studying within South Carolina.
In May, all students will take part in the recital “Let's Go to the Movies.”
Rhoda is already diligently picking out the outfits for this show.
This spring, the adult jazz class is scheduled to return. An adult tap class is currently being taught.
This summer, the studio will be busy teaching all-boys classes and summer camps.
Corey wants to form a boys' hip-hop class in addition to the existing strengths/agility class.
Sometimes, outside teachers use the studio.
Sarah Jo Fazio from New York City comes annually to teach the Burns dancers. She taught at the studio last summer.
Mike Hess holds his karate class twice a week at Burns Dance. He has been using the studio since 1987, according to Corey.
“There's somebody here every day,” Corey said.
Corey and Rhoda won the Marjorie Perry Spirit Award during the DanceMakers Inc.'s competition this past weekend.
Rhoda was also recently asked to join the Weissman's advisory board. Weissman is a major costume company based out of Missouri.
“She's always been so in here,” Corey said, while sitting in the studio. “So, I'm excited about it.”
Registration is open for adult jazz classes.
Burns Dance Studio is located at 831 Neilson Road.
For more information, call 803-648-7659 or visit www.burnsdancestudio.com.
Stephanie Turner graduated from Valdosta State University in 2012. She then signed on with the Aiken Standard, where she is now the arts and entertainment reporter.
Submitted Photo by Todd Lista Burns Dance Studio director and teacher Corey Burns with some of the studio's dancers. Pictured, from left to right, are Sammi Miller, Megan Platt, Hayden Horton, Caroline Luton, Caroline Bowers, Bailey Pleming and Alyssa Williams.×
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner The girls of this tap class are learning a routine at Burns Dance Studio. Pictured, from left, are Emma Barton, Wisdom Lawton, Jillie Barton, Anika Masterson, Janea Miller and Gifton Farrer.×