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Ahwatukee Dance Studio Moves, Gets New Name

Dance Studio 111 has room to spread out

by Coty Dolores Miranda
Arizona Republic

dance111After 16 years, one of Ahwatukee’s leading dance studios, the Kimberly Lewis School of Dance, has moved to a new facility that is 4,000 square feet larger. And, in a move that surprised many, the studio changed its well-established name.

The school, formerly named after its founder and Ahwatukee resident Kimberly Lewis, is now known as Dance Studio 111. That reflects the suite number at its new location, 4910 E. Chandler Blvd., a strip mall that includes Madison Day Spa and LA Fitness.

“It’s a new studio, a new decade and a new name,” Lewis said. “It’s also a perfect location. We have a full glass-front studio where people can watch our students in class. Last night, we were running extra rehearsals and people driving by actually stopped and came in. They said they were impressed by the talent of our dancers.”

As a former professional dancer and founder and director of the Phoenix Suns dance team, Lewis is a good judge of talent. Her school has won three national dance championships and numerous regional awards.

The new facility boasts four dance rooms and a homework room.

State-of-the-art flooring is installed in all dance rooms – “a dream come true for students,” according to Lewis – and an improvement over the old studio’s wood floors.

Staff members are also enthusiastic. Carrie Matheus-Anders, artistic director since the studio opened, and one of the original Phoenix Suns dancers and choreographer, said that although the old studio was like home to her, the move means better class scheduling.

“After teaching for more than 16 years at KLSD, there’s a lot of nostalgia in leaving the old studio because we’ve been there so long. But we’d outgrown it,” she said. “I feel this is a fresh, new start, and with all the room, now they’ll be no problems in scheduling classes. We’ll be able to fit in all kinds of classes for all levels.”

Though the Dance Studio 111 grand opening celebration is scheduled for July 5, registration for summer and fall 2010 sessions began last week.

An addition this summer and fall is musical theater classes. In August, Lewis will audition the school’s inaugural Musical Theater Performing Company for ages 5 through adult.

“We want to give kids the opportunity to act, sing and dance,” Lewis said. “We’ll be performing routines from ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Mary Poppins,’ ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and other musical theater hits at various charity events, the Festival of Lights Kick-Off and other venues around the Valley.”

Lewis, who founded the Ahwatukee Foothills Nutcracker Ballet in 2000, said early registration is encouraged.

Classes are offered for children as young as 2 in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, acrobatics, musical theater, technique, combo, hip-hop and pointe.


About the Author

James, East Coast Correspondent