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There is a humbling variety of artistic interests in Taneytown, and in the past, I have spoken with several business owners that participate in this growing trend. Taneytown for the Arts’ mission is to cultivate the arts in a local, welcoming environment. RUST by Justin Staudinger offers a unique collection of antiques handcrafted by local creators, and the Red Door Boutique sells inviting home décor and other gifts with a trendy appeal. But there are more artistic outlets in Taneytown as well. Located at the intersection between Frederick Street and West Baltimore Street is the Taneytown Dance Center, whose mission is to teach the art of dance to both the young and the old alike. For this article I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Kimberly McCord-Golliday, or as her students often call her, “Miss Kim.”

Kimberly is the founder of Taneytown Dance Center LLC, which opened in Taneytown in September of 2004. She named it the Taneytown Dance Center because she envisioned an equivalent to Broadway Dance Center in New York City. While there has been a recent wave of artistic activism in Taneytown, Kimberly was one of the first to spark this recent communal interest, “I was teaching for many studios in the Baltimore area and decided to try opening something for kids in the area to help expose them to the Arts… My goal when I opened was to have at least 30 children. I finished my first year with 67 students.”

Kimberly has an extensive background in dance, one that began at a very early age. Her interest in the Baltimore area was in many ways a result of her upbringing, “I was born in Baltimore City and started dancing when I was 2 1/2 years old,” she said, “When I was 14 I auditioned for the Baltimore School for the Arts and was accepted into the program.” The Baltimore School for the Arts, BSA for short, had an immense influence on her choice of career, as well as her love for teaching others what she had learned. She shared with me, “I was drawn to teaching at a young age. Right before high school I was able to teach dance to inner city youth. It was so rewarding and it made my heart full to see these kids that may never have this opportunity feel good about themselves as well as give them hopes and dreams.”

Oftentimes, there are certain forms of art that we familiarize ourselves with more than others. These include paintings, sculptures, novels, poetry and film. The compelling detail about dance, as a form of art, is that no verbal communication is expressed to the viewer. Like a painting, you can participate in an artistic experience merely from the movements and facial expressions of the subject. Kimberly’s transformative experience came at the age of six, “When I was six my sister took me to the Baltimore Museum of Art. Many museums are free and I was obsessed with always going there. When I saw Edgar Degas’ dancer statue I looked at her and knew I wanted to be a dancer.”

Her dream of becoming a dancer motivated her, while at BSA, to join the New York City Ballet, one of the foremost dance companies in the world. During her senior year, however, she suffered an unfortunate injury. This setback took her life in a new and exciting direction, “When this happened I was asked to assist in learning choreography, running the pre-performance master classes as well as rehearsals. It was a whole new learning experience that was so exciting! I was told that I would never dance again. However, I did not feel in my heart that that was really an option.”

She later spent time learning business at Morgan Stanley and met the love of her life, “I met my husband from Carroll County. I am blessed with him, two amazing sons, and great friends. But I still felt that dance was missing.” This inspired her to begin teaching again, opening the Taneytown Dance Center twelve years ago this past September.

The Taneytown Dance Center is a lovely studio in a very quaint section of Taneytown which offers a warm and welcoming environment to both dancers and non-dancers alike. This is something that Kimberly emphasized very strongly, “Taneytown Dance Center is all about feeling good about yourself and who you are. And if you don’t know who you are, you may find it while you’re here. It’s such an amazing family in our corner of the world here.”

There are a number of benefits associated with learning to dance, regardless of your age! There are the physical benefits involved with moving for an extended period of time, but there are other positives to note as well. The art of dance creates tightly-knit communities, and these communities not only help you make new friends, but can help increase your own self-confidence at being able to complete a task you never thought that you would even try!

There are a number of different programs for children, who can begin taking classes at Taneytown Dance Center starting at 1 1/2 years of age up through high school. For those between the ages of 1 1/2 and 5, there are four available classes. Baby Ballet is for those aged 18 – 36 months, consisting of specially developed and engaging movements meant to get your son or daughter up on their feet! Tiny Tots is a class for those ages 2 – 4, where the very basics of dance are taught to boys and girls. The fundamentals about coordination, rhythm, and space are very important for the Intro to Foundations of Dance Class, the third one that’s offered to younger children. In this third class, toddlers begin to learn the basics of ballet. The fourth is called Ballet & Ballet Stories, where the basics of ballet are emphasized more than in the others.

While dance studios are commonly associated with ballet or dance classes for children, this is not the case with the Taneytown Dance Center. There are plenty of different forms of dance that are worth your consideration. The studio offers classes in Tap, Jazz, classes for children with special needs, Musical Theatre, Hip-Hop, Contemporary Fusion, among others!

For any adults interested in taking up dance as a hobby, Kimberly shared this detail about adult participation in dance, “My adult classes are dance classes for the non-dancer. Our Adult Tap, Ballet and Body Therapy classes range between 29-65 usually. They are amazing.” Many members of our area already enjoy the Body Therapy dance class, one which Kimberly says can fit just about anyone’s needs, “It’s for anyone that just wants a little exercise, fun and friendship. It’s quite interesting and very relaxing. In the Fall and Winter months this class is done by candlelight.”

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If you’re interested in learning dance from the capable and caring instructors at the Taneytown Dance Center, you can find it at 2 Frederick Street in Taneytown. Questions about particular classes, their schedules, or enrollment availability can be made by email at dance@taneytowndancecenter.com, or by phone at (410) 756-9311.

ENJ ~ October, 2016

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