URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Blu Modify Dance Studio is celebrating one year in the community.
The dance instructor, Teaira Ross, said there wasn’t any place else in the area teaching the majorette style of dance, which is just one reason why she decided to take a leap of faith and open up shop.
Ross says the name of the studio is special. Her father died when she was young, so she wanted his memory in part of the name.
His favorite color was blue.
Modify is a word used to describe Ross’s mission–to fix girls’ broken spirits, making them stronger and more confident.
Every week, Ross watches closely, to make sure her majorette students know their routines and hit all the marks.
As she watches though, she sees more than just the routine. She sees the impact she wanted to make in every single girl, by creating this studio.
“They work hard. They’re very dedicated, and they have less free time to get themselves into trouble,” said Ross. “I’m making sure that they are comfortable in what they’re doing. I never want to force them to do anything that they don’t feel confident in, but I’m also letting them know that they can be confident.”
The impact went much deeper in girls like 17-year-old Asia Dixon. She’s oldest of the group, she’s front and center, leading the pack.
“I never thought I could, because when I was on my other dance teams, I was never a captain. I was just a dancer, and then I came here,” said Dixon.
Dixon, now a captain for the first time, says she’s never felt better about dancing…especially because of the girls beside her.
“None of us were really close. But now we’re all close,” said Dixon. “We’re sisters. We’re not a team…we’re like sisters.”
While she loves her swinging, splitting, stepping family…she wants it to get bigger.
She thinks that will happen if more people find the confidence in themselves to step up.
“If you can’t dance we’re going to encourage you to make you feel good, like you can. And you’re going to get better, because I mean if you can’t dance, you can always learn. That’s with anything though. You can always learn,” said Dixon.
Ross’s class has about 17 girls right now. She says she sees expansion in the future. Eventually, she would like to have three different age groups.
The style of dance is called “majorette.” Ross says the best way to describe it is a combination of hip-hop, ballet, and cheer.