At Starbeam Studios, “It’s all about the relationship,” and even during this time of uncertainty, classes and even performances (to an extent) have been taking place.
“We’re creating family here and that’s the most important thing,” said owner Kaylyn Bruington. “Theater is something that is really precious to people and I hope it goes with them for them for the rest of their lives.”
Starbeam Studios opened in 2018 and rented a facility in north Delta. Recently, the dance studio relocated to 252 Main St. in Delta. The studio outgrew its former location. The new location was also a plus to be better integrated into the community, she said.
Every spring and fall, students have a performance. Because of the traveling and such that comes with summer, there are happenings but there is no set schedule, Bruington said. These include dance camps, workshops in intensives (which were added last year).
Littles camps — ages 2 through kindergarten — are three days and are designed on a theme such as Princess Camp. Everything for said camp will be centered around the princess theme including dances, crafts, etc. At first grade classes become level based.
It does not matter what your age is, it is about skill and this is for the safety of the dancers’ bodies, Bruington explained. They only advance when teachers believe they are ready. All students in the class are around the same level.
Pre Bronze classes are for those who are completely new to dance. Bronze is the beginning-level class with a variety of styles to choose from: ballet, jazz, tap, poms, contemporary, etc.
Intermediate one comes next. This is where students take a bronze class but they will attach the intermediate one class to the bronze class. The student still needs to learn technique and basic training but is ready for harder moves, Bruington explained.
“We try to make it a bit more cost effective for parents instead of having to make them do a technique class with the bronze and do a more advanced class, we smoosh them together,” Bruington said. The class takes what is learned in the bronze class and applies it to harder moves.
Silver classes, or intermediate two, comes next. This is when students learn different styles of technique. These classes are longer — about an hour and a half. Finally is the gold class. Currently, she does not have any gold dancers. They would be an advanced dancer.
Older, more advanced dancers can participate in intensives. During intensives is when you hone your skills, Bruington said. Most intensives are three to seven weeks during the summer — formatted like a college course. She also offers junior intensives which would be less time in the studio such as meeting only a couple days a week, but is still centered around a certain kind of dance.
Another popular offering is called “around the studio” during the summer, which Bruington said is unique to her studio. Many starting dancers are not familiar with every dance. This allows dancers to “sample” the various kinds of dance styles. They might be surprised by what they like and what they don’t like, she said. For older dancers, who are set in a type of dance, this course allows them to get outside their normal dance style.
“If you are thinking of becoming a professional dancer, you don’t have time to do anything else,” Bruington said. “A lot of times you don’t have the finances to do anything else because you are taking five-six classes at whatever you are trying to be good at a week. This gives them a chance during the summer to experience something they don’t get to experience during the fall months when they are buckled down and studying.”
Dancers also get to go outside their comfort zone and move their bodies differently, she added. This can be taken back and applied to their normal dance style and help hone those skills.
Currently there are three instructors. Bruington teaches the bulk of the classes. There are about 143 students who started in January then COVID hit. The studio moved to online classes. This was hard especially with 2 year olds, Bruington said.
“They did a really good job and I’m so proud of them for enduring,” Bruington said.
Every family had the option on how to approach this. Digital classes or not. When they were able to open at a reduced level there was the choice to come in the studio or not. There was a time when there were both digital and in person available. With COVID-19 dance classes have been restricted to 10 in a class and most classes are at capacity.
The studio was able to have an outside performance with over 60 performers in May. Giving families the choice of instruction was a big thing for Bruington. She said she believes that is what makes the country beautiful.
Another performance the studio did via video. At the time, private lessons were OK’d by the health department. The instructors met with students individually and recorded their parts and created the video compilation.
Other performances are a bit up in the air with restrictions still in place, Bruington said. Normally, the studio matches the school district calendar, but Bruington explained there was a lot of uncertainty so that did not happen. The hope is to match up again in the spring.
Dance classes have always been kept small (four to seven students). This allows for personal relationships with the students and individual attention. Even though many dancers’ careers end after high school, the studio is equipping students not only with dance skills but also to be better people, better adults, Bruington said.
For more information, call 970-823-0160 or visit starbeamstudiosdelta.com.