Echappe School of Dance, a local studio that teaches a wide variety of genres, is taking enrollment for the upcoming 2017–18 season.
Tap shoes clap against the floor, tutus twirl, and ballet shoes point into the air. At Echappe School of Dance, students are exposed to a variety of dancing genres.
Located at 3300 Knorr St. in Mayfair, the school is preparing to enter its fourth season beginning Sept. 6. Megan Kusznir, the owner and director of the school, said she couldn’t be prouder of how the school is progressing.
“This has always been a dream of mine,” she said. “The kids that have come into my life are the best part.”
The school is still pretty small; about 10 students have been around for the previous seasons.
Kusznir teaches “combination classes,” meaning that each two-hour lesson consists of learning two genres for the price of one. Kusznir said she didn’t want to limit her students, both in terms of what genre they’re learning, and also financial limitations.
“The studio is designed to cater to lower-income families, because everybody deserves the chance to dance,” she said. By doing combination classes, students are receiving the equivalent of two lessons for the price of one.
Students will dip their toes in a wide variety of genres, including classical ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical and modern. Beginners will be exposed to all genres, and as they progress through the ranks, they will get more of a say on what genre they specialize in.
Beginner, intermediate, advanced and professional level classes are offered.
Students are given several chances to dance throughout the year, including participating in the Mayfair Holmesburg Thanksgiving Parade. They’ll participate in small local events, like dancing at birthday bashes and performing a showcase for senior citizens around Mother’s Day.
The season culminates with a showcase where everyone is given the opportunity to try out for solo, duet and trio numbers.
During last year’s showcase, Kusznir and her students performed a piece with a schoolyard theme where Kusznir played a mean teacher. The piece concluded with the girls lifting their mean teacher and carrying her away.
“Every year before the showcase, it just hits me how far we’ve come and how much we’ve accomplished,” she said. “On the first year, the day of dress rehearsal and the recital, I couldn’t stop crying, but in a good way.”
She said that crying before each showcase has become a habit, but one she is grateful to have a reason for.
Kusznir decided to open her own dance studio in the summer of 2013 when she realized she was “underappreciated” as a teacher. She had the studio built from scratch and pursued her dream.
“I haven’t looked back since,” she said.
Kusznir has lived her entire life in Mayfair, so for her picking a location was a no-brainer.
“I’m a local girl, and I know there are a lot of studios in Mayfair, but not a lot of studios like mine, and that’s why I did it,” she said. ••
Visit the school’s Facebook page or its website, tankers96.wixsite.com/echappeschoolofdance, to learn more. Kusznir encourages all interested parents and students to come down to the studio for one free trial class.