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Founded in 1978 by two Ohio University alumnae, Factory Street Dance Studio students will perform their spring concert this weekend at Stuart’s Opera House. The concert is the culmination of the studio’s 14-week, methods-based programs.(Gwen Titley | Picture Editor )

Dance studio students springing onto Stuart's stage for concert

After weeks of training in various styles, the students of Factory Street Dance Studio are ready to take their talents to the stage for the studio’s spring dance concert.

Ballet, jazz and modern dance are three of the dozens of classes offered at the studio. Darcy Shaffner, administrative assistant and instructor at the studio, said the wide variety of classes available allows students to get the full experience that dancing has to offer.

“Factory Street Studio’s curriculum is founded on a belief that dance education can encourage a student’s physical, mental and emotional health through the creative act of self-expression combined with the athleticism and rigor of dance technique,” Shaffner said.

Two Ohio University alumnae founded the dance studio in 1978. The nonprofit studio is one of the only non-competition studios in Ohio that emphasizes modern dance and the creative process. The studio has received several grants, including the Ohio Arts Council grant.

The studio operates on a 14-week, methods-based program designed to bring cohesiveness to students’ dance education, according to its website. Each week, a different concept — such as space or timing — is taught, leading up to a concert at the end of the spring.

“The program is designed to maximize self-esteem, dance technique, personal growth and cooperative spirit in the studio and the community,” according to a news release.

The spring concert features dancers from different levels of the studio’s K-12 classes, in both group and solo form. Though the studio’s teachers created many of the routines, some students were allowed to try their hand at choreography — something Becky Bushey-Miller, president of the Factory Street Dance Studio board of directors, said the studio is proud of.

“The dancers develop this incredible ability to express themselves creatively. Not only is this demonstrated by the dancers, but Factory Street Studio offers the opportunity for the students to develop their own choreography as well,” Bushey-Miller said. “This is incredibly empowering for them. They have been given permission to express themselves through movement.”

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