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Dance studio sets up shop in Newman

Brette Powers, right, is the owner and professional dance instructor of Powers Productions, a new dance studio in Newman. Carla Powers assists with the toddler classes and runs the office.

NEWMAN – Brette Powers has dreamed of operating her own dance studio for as long as she can remember, and she recently had the opportunity to make that dream a reality.

Powers opened a downtown Newman studio – Powers Productions – in September,  with the help and support of her parents John and Carla Powers, and the assistance of many family members who helped transform the location at 1410 Main St. in to a studio complete with new floors, balance bars and full length mirrors.

The studio opened to an overwhelming response, Powers related, with the classes filling and the schedule expanded to accommodate the demand.

“We have been so welcomed in Newman it’s amazing!” she expressed. “I originally had two hip-hop classes scheduled but actually have six classes now.”

That particular class is popular with all age groups, particularly junior high and high school teens, but is by no means the only offering at the new dance studio.

She has also had great response to her Mommy and Me pre-dance classes and beginning ballet and tap classes for the younger sets.

“We offer all levels of hip-hop, tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical and adult classes,” Powers explained. The professional classes are open for students ages 18 months to adult, and range from beginning to competitive levels. Auditions for the studio’s Westside Vibe competitive team will be held in November.

Her goal is to offer a variety of dance opportunities for people of all skill levels, and to keep the lessons affordable. “We are keeping the prices inexpensive enough so that everyone who wants to has the opportunity to dance,” emphasized Carla Powers, who assists her daughter with the toddler classes and handles the office duties for the business.

The monthly tuition is based on the total number of classes a family signs up for each week, ranging from $35 a month for one student in one weekly class to $160 for three students in one family taking an unlimited amount of classes each week.

For many, dance is an exciting new experience.

“The majority of our students haven’t had dance before,” Carla Powers noted. “They are glad to be here and we will do everything we can to help make it possible for them to stay.”

Parents have shared with both she and her daughter how excited their children are about going to class and how they look forward to their “dance day.”

Brette Powers is the professional dance instructor and choreographer for  the majority of the classes offered throughout the week. Guest instructors will lead some special programs, such as a Nov. 19 hip-hop workshop. A certified instructor is also starting Zumba classes at the studio.

Brette Powers has been dancing since age 3. She is an alumni of Marlynn Gonzales’s dance school, where she also had her first teaching experience helping with the younger students when she was in junior high. Powers danced competitively for one year on the West Side Academy of Dance team, and she helped form a dance team at Whitmore School of Art and Technology while attending high school in Ceres. After graduating, she taught hip-hop and ballet at a major dance studio in Modesto until opening her studio in Newman. She continues to dance with her classes at Modesto Junior College. “There are always ways to improve. You can never stop getting better,” Powers expressed.

Having her own studio and managing all of the classes herself is new to her but a challenge she has looked forward to meeting. “I have not been very strict with the students so far. They are learning the techniques and I want them to have fun and enjoy dancing. When the competition team gets going then I will require more discipline and I will be strict with them,” she said. She hopes to have a team ready to compete in the spring.

“And our first studio recital is scheduled for the end of June at the West Side Theatre,” she happily reported.

In the meantime, potential students are welcome to stop by the studio during any of the classes. New students can try one class for free.

Workshops are also available, including a family session.

Additional program information is available by dropping by the studio or emailing powersproductions@ymail.com.