Celebrate Talent!!!

We just finished competing at the Celebrate Talent right here in Branson. This was our first time competing at this competition, and we were truly impressed! It was run in such a professional manner, very organized, with great talent and friendly people!! Not only did they have a free master class the night before but they offer scholarship prizes as well!!
Our dancers were fabulous this weekend as well! While all of our dancers received very high scores we would like to recognize some of the stand out awards!!
First we have to recognize Brittany Wurst and Ana Bernhardi for being the only dancers selected to perform the combination they were taught in the Master Class!! In the Petite Rising Star division. In The Duet category Oogie Boogie (Chloe Cofer & Katie Rose Youngblood)took 2nd place overall, and Cydney Heard was 1st overall in the solo division. Cydney Heard also won high score overall in the Rising Star division for the whole competition. In the Petite Shooting Stars Jet Set ( Kyndall Coker, Brooke Cox & Jenna Bernhardi) won the duo/trio competition!! The Junior division also had some big highlights! In the Rising Stars Ashantae Cummings was 2nd overall. And in the very tough Shooting Stars Brooke Cox was 5th overall and Ana Bernhardi was 3rd overall!
There were also some Special Awards Given out and we are very proud to say that Ana Bernhardi was one of 3 recipients of a very special scholarship to a summer program in Hollywood Ca!! And last but certainly not least Miss Tonya won an award for Best Choreography for Jet Set!!
We are so proud of all of our students, and can’t wait to see what they will be achieving next!!



First Awards at Stage One

Congratulations to Ashante Cummings, and Katie Rose Youngblood . Katie Rose was 5th overall and Ashante was 4th. They both received platinum awards and were 1st place in their division!! Great way to start the weekend!!!!


Miss Victoria on the floor next to Miss Tonya and all our crazy girls!!

Miss Victoria on the floor next to Miss Tonya and all our crazy girls!!

We had an amazing experience at the studio tonight! Victoria Venier award winning singer, song writer, choreographer and director held a master class  at Dance Branson!!! Victoria is the vice president of Matt Davenport Production out of Nashville, TN. She is coming in town to do Production work with Miss Tonya on a show and  graciously agreed to teach a master tap and performance class for our Int and Adv dancers! We all (yes even the teachers!) loved the rhythm tap class, which exposed us all to a few new ideas! Immediately following Victoria gave some very valuable advice about casting, auditioning, and performance quality, which included some one on one critiques! What a fantastic opportunity for our young dancers! And who knows one of these day she may giving one of them a job in a show!!

Summer Programs!!

IMG_1324We are super excited about our summer schedule this year!! Our studio keeps growing so we are able to offer even more amazing classes! One of our highlights this year is our Performing Arts Casting Workshop! This is an intensive 2 day acting/theater/vocal workshop for young entertainers between the ages of 8-19 years who are interested in the performing arts! They will learn casting secrets from one of the top kids casting directors from Hollywood. Students will participate in a mock audition, learn the ins and outs of auditioning on Broadway and receive cutting edge information for aspiring singers. It takes place July13 & 14, and will end with a pre show performance at Legends in Concert! This is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed, there is limited enrollment so register now!! Call the studio (417)337-3535.

In addition to the casting workshop, we have a lot of other camps available. One of our most popular is our Princess& Knights camp! This is the perfect camp any young dancers, ages 3- first grade, They will learn  ballet , tap, musical theater, do some crafts,and have story time and snacks.  This camp runs June 25-27 9am-12 pm and again in July from the 9-11th 9am-12pm.

We are also adding a new Hip Hop Camp! this will be for ages kindergarten -4th grade and 5th grade and up.  It will feature some fabulous guest teachers, and be a great way to learn some of the hottest moves you see on the newest TV shows!

Last summer our musical theater camp was a huge hit so we will be offering that again. this year it will run from July15th-18th for 5-10 year olds from 10am-1pm. and July 22nd -25th for 10years and up 10am-1pm.. They will learn acting skills, work on vocal pieces, and stage movement. This will be taught Bucky Heard from Legends in Concert!!

Bucky will also be teaching another of our new workshops, our acting workshop. Students will explore popular acting techniques, work on monologues and scenes, explore improvisational skills, and work on cold readings and audition skills. this is an excellent opportunity for a young actor. the camp is offered June 17th-221st. 6-11yr olds will be 9;30-11:30am and 11 years and up will be 12-2pm

Crazy Fun Dance Camp is perfect for the younger dancer with limited experience. It is exactly what it sounds like…..crazy and fun. They will experience classes in many different styles of dance. The camp runs from June 25th-27th 9am-noon. for ages 2nd -6th grade!

Dance Intensive is for the more advanced dancer. There will be several guest teachers for these camps, in classes of all styles. It will be a week of hard work, but tons of fun!! Intensive runs twice this summer the first camp is June 10th-14th 9:30am-3:30pm, and then again Aug. 5th-9th 9:30-3:30.

We also have a full schedule of classes throughout the week. We have everything from beginner classes to advanced and classes for 2year olds up to adults. We have something for everyone!funky kids

For more information, check out our website, thedancebranson.com

The Dance Branson Stars have had a Stellar Year so far!!!

Tremaine Tulsa Collage

Some of the fun had at Tremaine in Tulsa! Scholarship winners galore and solo winners pictured, as well as many of our students who were singled out in class for their excellent skills!

Toys award

The cast of our Production number Toys which one the Entertainment award over hundreds of other competitors! We are so proud!!

DMI Scholarship winners!

Scholarship winners at Dancemakers Inc

January is the beginning of our competition/convention season. Up until now we have been to 4 competitions, 3 of which are also conventions. At the conventions the dancers take classes all day from teachers who are typically the best in the business from New york and LA! They are such a great opportunity for our dancers. While at these conventions they are also given the opportunity to take part in an audition for scholarships. The auditions are held exactly like a professional audition where they make cuts and keep only a small amount of dancers out of the hundreds that are there. This year we are proud to announce a total of 19 of our students were selected as finalists and kept through the final audition. Out of this 19, Dance Branson had 12 scholarship recipients! Many of these scholarships are for prestigious summer programs at some of the biggest and most well known studios in the country! They will be taking classes from well known dancers such as those seen on “So You Think You Can Dance” ( Twitch, Tiffany Mayer, Mandy Moore and many more). Several of these scholarships  were also awarded through the  world renowned Tremaine competition/convention program, at which one of our students is also an apprentice for the Tremaine performance team.

javaNot only have we won,scholarships but we  have also done amazingly well in the competition scene. So far our highlights have been,at Dancemakers INC a highest score award for our junior girls , and they were asked to dance again at the final awards ceremony. At the same competition our production number featuring the whole team was awarded the Entertainment award over the whole weekend. We went on to compete at Dance Showcase USA where we won an award for best choreography in the senior division. Shortly after that we traveled to Tulsa with a select group of dancers, where one of our trios won an Entertainment award and was the second highest score in the junior division. At all of these competitions we have also received numerous first and second place awards overall for many solos, duos and groups!

Trio TULSA_14866

Jet Set- winners if the Entertainment award and 2nd highest score in the Junior division at Tremaine Tulsa

We are so incredibly proud of all of our students!! Our motto is “growing up dancers” and we are very excited to see what these ladies will do in the future!!!

Good girl

“Good Girl” with our Senior girls, Winners at both Tremaine St. Louis and at Dancemakers Inc!!

Exciting times at Tremaine!!

tiff and girls

Tiffany Maher from TV’s So You Think You Can Dance, with some of our junior girls!

We just got back from a crazy fun weekend in St. Louis at the Tremaine dance convention and competition!!! It is such an amazing experience for young dancers!! Not only do they get to be a part of an elite competition, but they also get to take classes for 2 full days from some of the best teachers in the dance community!! Many of them are currently working out of LA and featured in movies, music videos, television and commercial work. They get to learn everything from tap, hip hop, and street, to jazz contemporary and ballet! They love it!! During these classes they also audition for Tremaine scholarships! Only a few are selected per age group and we are very proud to say that 2 of our students were selected to receive scholarships! Congratulations to Kyndall Coker a junior, and Brittany Wurst a senior!!! They rocked!! Several of our students were also finalists for these scholarships!! During the evening the competition starts, and we were very well represented!! we received several 1st and 2nd awards in a variety of different solos, duos, and groups!! Not an easy task I might add as the competition was fierce!! We are so proud of all of our students for representing the studio so well! In addition we had the added bonus of watching one of our very own students, Lezlie Young, work as an apprentice during the weekend. She was one of 60 dancers chosen from across the country to participate in this program, and she did a fabulous job! Cant’t wait for the next big convention/competition……DMI here we come!!!!

New Acting Class Starting Soon!!

The-Comedy-and-Tragedy-Masks-acting-204463_489_381EXCITING NEWS!! Dance Branson is pleased to announce the debut of our 6 week, “Applied Acting Workshop”! We will explore popular acting techniques (Method Acting, Psychological Gesture, Emotional Recall, and more), sharpen improvisational skills, learn the art of mastering cold readings, find and prepare monologues for use as audition pieces, scene work, and much more. It is going to be a fun, intimate (limited space, so enroll now), and informative! A 6 week extensive course that will give you (and/or the upcoming actor in your life) the self assurance to step into any audition situation with CONFIDENCE!! Sign up today as we need a certain # of students to make it all happen and I want to get started this Tuesday Jan.22! Dance Branson is building “triple threats”, which is what you need to succeed in the entertainment world these days, where young performers out there are pushing their skills to the limit! Remember, the complete performer “triangle” includes, “MIND, VOICE AND BODY”……if you neglect any of these and you want to be the best entertainer you can be, you are cheating yourself. On of my favorite professors (who forced me to take ballet….yes, that’s right, I took ballet and am SO thankful I did) once said, “If you don’t want to do it, fine…..but be rest assured, Bucky, that your competition IS!” Something to think about;) Call 337-3535 and let’s take your talents to the next level, shall we!!

Christmas Shows in Branson

Branson is famous for it’s Christmas shows, and we are so excited to be able to say that several of our students are performing in some of those shows!! It is such a great experience to be able to perform in a professional production right along side some seasoned performers!

Three of our students, Lia, Ana and Jenna Bernhardi are featured in the Lennon Sisters show!  The Lennon Sisters  became an American institution after performing on the Lawrence Welk show for 13 years. They were nicknamed “America’s Sweethearts of Song”!!  Branson is blessed to have them performing at The Moon River Theater! You can see at 2pm Mon-Sat until Dec 12th ! Jenna sings a duet with Janet Lennon,, Lia and Ana are featured in ta Tap production nuber with The Lennon Sisters choreographed by Tonya Coker (our studio owner), and all 3 girls do a ballet/waltz choreographed by  Dasa Hayes (one of our teachers)!. All three girls sing and have featured solos ! The show is a combination of Classic Lennon Sisters Hits and Christmas favorites all available to take home on a newly released CD “Christmas with The Lennon Sisters at the Moonriver Theater” – The Lennon Sisters with special guests Janet’s granddaughters – Lia, Ana & Jenna :) Beautiful set and costumes – something for all ages! Check out their website for more information http://www.lennonsisters.com/

We also have another student featured in the Hamner Barber Show as a vocalist!! Jessica Barber joins the cast on  Friday andSaturday nights to sing some classic Christmas songs with her Dad Jim Barber and the rest of the cast, as well as performing a solo! Later in the show she becomes “Elfie”, as the magical Dave Hamner makes her appear out of nowhere with Mr. and Mrs. Claus! The Hamner Barber show is an eclectic mix of Magic, (performed by the world famous illusionists, The Hamners) Comedy, supplied by ventriloquist Jim Barber, music and dance (  By the way the cast also includes two of our teaching staff AJ Heard, and Dasa Hayes!)!  You can see the Hamner Barber Theater presents their Christmas show titled The Wings of Christmas Tues – Sat. at 8pm!  For more information you can check their website http://www.hamnerbarber.com/

Kiara Davenport one of our Rising Star team members is also a cast member of the Jim Stafford Show!! She is a part in several parts of the show , but is most prominently featured while she reads a Christmas poem with Jim Stafford.  She gets to sing and dance and even pays the claves in the finale!  Jim  is famous for his hilarious comedy and brilliant guitar playing and of course who could forget some of his many hits such as “Spiders and Snakes”! You can see the show at the Jim Stafford theater, check their website for the schedule.

We are so proud of all of our students! We have a lot of talented kids here at the studio, and we are very blessed to have so many opportunities to have them perform in this town! So get out and support some of the local kids in these shows! I’m sure you will enjoy it!!

Are They Ready For Pointe??

   So it seems every year the same question comes up at dance studios around the country, “When can my daughter start taking pointe classes??” It really is every little dancers dream, to be that beautiful ballerina that we see pictures of twirling around onstage in her beautiful pointe shoes!! Sadly for all those little girls and anxious dance moms it is just not all that easy!! First of all ballet is just not as easy as it looks! It requires many hours of classes over the course of several years just to learn the very basic technique and build the strength required to perform the difficult steps, and make them look graceful!! Most good dance studios require you to have at least several years of basic ballet classes before they can even consider pointe work.  Most importantly however, age plays a huge part in the decision! A dancer should never start doing pointe classes until the bones in the feet are properly developed, or have ossified sufficiently, and the growth plates have become more stable.This does not usually happen until the age of 12.  Many ballet schools require a visit from a doctor to determine if in fact the dancer is ready!!  Not only must the bones be properly formed,  but there must be enough strength built up in the feet, legs, pelvis and the abdominal muscles to support the strain on the feet.  If these rules are not followed it can result in serious injuries and foot deformities, bunions, hammer toes, stress injuries and even fractures or displacement of growth plates . Many of these can become permanent deformities that will cause problems for the dancer throughout her life! So think twice before jumping into pointe shoes!! Dancing on pointe is  well worth the wait, and  when it is done correctly, an incredible accomplishment! Keep those girls working hard in ballet class and they will one day be that beautiful ballerina that they dreamed of becoming!!!!

New Musical Theater Classes!!

 ImageThis past summer we held a Musical Theater Camp for the first time! It was so successful, that we have decided to add Musical Theater to the Fall Schedule!!There will be 2 classes, beginner and advanced, which will incorporate vocal training, acting and dance! While this is a dance studio, the class is perfect for those who have no experience in dance or any other aspect of performing! It is also a wonderful way for kids to improve their dance skills by learning how to incorporate it into their performance, while increasing their  confidence, as they are encouraged to explore other aspects of the arts such as working on scenes and monologues, or a solo or group vocal number!! Our teacher for this course will be Bucky Heard! He is best known locally for portraying Jake Blues of the Blues Brothers in Legends in concert! Bucky has numerous theatrical credits , and also has a BFA from Auburn University! He was our main teacher for the camp that was held this summer and did such a wonderful job we had to have him back!!! These classes will be tons of fun, so sign up soon as the classes will fill up fast!! Hope to see you there!!