Tag Archives: NJ dance schools

Showcase Memories

Showcase Memories!

The showcase is known for creating special memories—both for the dancer and for their family and friends.  It is a sentimental moment in time for many parents, watching their child perform in front of an audience!  For many of our dance families at Kick Performing Arts, it marks the closure of one year’s journey in dance and “sets the stage” for the next.

After the showcase, costumes become special mementos, programs become keepsakes, photos become facebook posts, and our free digital download of the show often become your household’s most-watched entertainment!  The time may have passed, but the souvenirs remain … along with the personal growth each student has achieved.

One comment we often hear from parents after the showcase is how their child won’t stop talking about it!  The excitement lifts them up long after the curtain has come down.  We love hearing about this kind of enthusiasm, and we hope you’ll keep the dance conversation going at home.  This is an excellent time to listen to what your child has to say about what they liked best or what was challenging.  Being able to reflect on the experience and communicate that to others is another awesome skill to develop!

Sometimes the memories made at showcase aren’t the ones you’d expect.  Maybe your dancer became distracted at one point onstage and made a silly face that made everyone laugh, or maybe they forgot a step during the dance and seemed discouraged.  Live performances can be a little unpredictable like this, but with a growth mindset, you and your child can still choose to see the positive outcome.  Like how that silly face was sweet and entertaining, and grandma loved it.  Or that forgotten step?  What a way to show perseverance!

The lifetime memories made at the showcase enrich our students’ knowledge and understanding of what a performance encompasses.  They create context for other performing opportunities, such as in theater or music, and they build the kind of confidence only experience can deliver.

Performing onstage is an incredible opportunity for dancers to share what they have been learning in class, and to showcase their progress from the beginning of the year to the end.  Learning how to dance is a gradual process, and some skills take years to fully master—but however big or small the steps are, it is a major accomplishment for anyone to perform in front of hundreds of people!  All the hard work is worthwhile when a dancer experiences the high fives and smiles and congratulations that the recital brings from classmates, family, and friends.

Whether it’s a young dancer performing for their first time or a teen dancer showcasing years of training, performance day achievements are incredibly special to celebrate.  Lifelong memories are made from those achievements—and for many dancers, a true passion for dance is ignited!  


The Summer Stride

The Summer Stride

Summer is just around the corner and here at Kick Performing Arts we are super excited about all our fantastic summer program offerings!

With the current dance season winding down and the new season ramping up, you might have been wondering lately if summer dance classes are right for your child. From our experience, every student has the potential to hit their “summer stride” … in other words, they all have the ability to keep their learning power going in the summer, without losing any momentum!

We believe there is a unique benefit for each and every student who dances with us in the summer, whether it’s during a weekly class, a dance camp, or an intensive. Read on to see which advantages might be in store for your child!

Making Progress
Because dance is built on muscle memory, summer study can help your child fine-tune their movement vocabulary and technique, allowing them to improve their skills, grow stronger, and be better prepared to take on new material.  With so much more available time, we see our dancers make huge progress each summer!

Being Consistent
Young children do well with stability in their routine, so maintaining that normalcy with summer dance can give them (and you!) peace of mind, even as the rest of your summer plans may vary.  For our older dancers the consistency allows them to stay strong all summer long!!

Getting Motivated
After the showcase, we find that some students are eager to try a new dance style (usually something they were inspired by!) to see how they like it. Summer is THE perfect time to test out those new interests, without a long commitment.

Gaining Confidence
Our summer programs, with their blend of both structure and fun, can give your child the boost they need to jump into fall classes feeling good about themselves. There’s nothing quite like the personal development that can be built in the summer!

It’s part of our mission to ensure that your child is learning how to balance their hard work with time off, and the summer offers the best of both worlds. We encourage all of our students to make time for rest and relaxation, and also make time to keep their bodies strong and minds engaged. This balance is what the true summer stride is all about!

There’s something for everyone here this summer at Kick Performing Arts. We’re happy to help you customize the right schedule for your family or make a special recommendation for your child … just ask!

Kick Dance Studios

Sadie Berry and Madeleine Ganun: Best Friends, Dancers, Role Models


Sadie and Madeleine’s giggles are infectious. When you hear them, you can’t help but smile. But as quickly as they start, those giggles turn into a serious discussion about dancing.

Sadie Berry and Madeleine Ganun are the best of friends, and dancing is probably their strongest bond.

Kick Dance StudiosThe two have been bffs since kindergarten, but they were dancing together long before they met.

But when it comes to their roles at Kick Dance Studios, Sadie, 10, and Madeleine, 11, are more than just dancers and friends. They’re role models.

“They both take the time to care about the younger dancers at Kick,” said Vanessa Berry, Sadie’s mom and owner of Kick Dance Studios. “They are always ready to help out with camps and assist the little ones backstage.”

And Madeleine and Sadie relish their role model status.

“It makes us feel grown up,” said Sadie. ‘We like to help out the little girls and we can do it because we were little once too.”

“It feels good to know that the younger girls look up to us and think we’re good dancers,” said Madeleine.

Sadie and Madeleine are so close that they even like the same kinds of dances — jazz and acro.

Kick Dance StudiosBut, the two do more than dance together. They play tennis, have sleepovers, and even take vacations together, the most recent one to Florida to see their families.

“It’s better than having just your brother there,” the two said.

And speaking of brothers, even their brothers are best friends.

And their mothers too.

“My favorite thing about Sadie is that she’s really nice and a really good dancer,” said Madeleine.

“My favorite thing about Madeleine is that she’s a good dancer and she’s very loyal,” said Sadie.

Our favorite thing about the two is their dedication to dance and their caring and helpful attitudes when it comes to being great role models for younger Kick dancers.

“They have similar interests but different strengths,” said Vanessa. “They have such determination and they both work so hard to be great dancers.”

Sadie and Madeleine know how to have fun with each other, but they also know when to buckle down and dance. And when to lend a helping hand.

Photos by Purelee Photography


Kick Dance Studio Dancers Score Big During Competition Season

Kick Dance Studios dancers scored big after a busy competition season, bringing home more first place wins than ever before its 15-year history. 150 dancers participated in three different competitions — Dancers Inc. in East Brunswick, NJ, April 1-3; Beyond The Stars Dance Competition in Vorhees, NJ, April 8-10; and Access Broadway in Atlantic City, NJ, April 22-24. 40 dancers participated in extra competitions; Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance Challenge, Basking Ridge, NJ, March 19-20; Elite Dance Challenge in Nutley, NJ, April 29-May 1.

Here are the first-place wins for Kick dancers:

Kick Dance competition


Junior Team

1st Overall T.E.A.M. at Access Broadway
Emily Ketterer of Rumson – 1st place solo
Sophia Mazzei of Rumson – Miss Petite Elite at Cathy Roe
Catherine Bradley of Rumson – 1st place solo overall and Miss Cathy Roe
Henry Berry of Fair Haven 3 title wins – Mr. Cathy Roe, Mr. Dancers Inc., and Mr. Elite
“Bell Hop Boogie” – 1st place at three competitions
“Poor Unfortunate Souls” – 1st place in two competitions overall
“Ease on Down” – 1st place in two competitions overall
“Consider Yourself” – 1st place duet overall
“Dream Girls” – 1st place overall in two competitions plus Most Entertaining
“All He Cares About Is Love” – 1st place overall in two competitions
“School of Rock” – 1st place overall in two competitions
“Magic” – 1st place overall
“Welcome to the 60s” – 1st place overall
“Rotten to the Core” – 1st place overall in two competitions
“Born to Entertain” – 1st place, Highest Scoring Dance, Musical Theater Vocal

Kick Dance competition

Senior Team

Kendall Walsh of Rumson- 1st place solo overall
Madeleine Ganun, 11, Rumson – Miss Junior Ultimate Dance Cathy Roe
“Pitch Perfect” – 1st place overall in two competitions
“100% Pure Love” – 1st place overall in two competitions
“Little Red Hat” – 1st place overall in two competitions
“Fuego” – 1st place overall in two competitions
“Safe and Sound” – 1st place duet overall
“Chocolaté” – 1st place overall
“I Wanna Be a Producer” – 1st place and Most Entertaining
“Corner” – 1st place overall
“Not So Serious Soldiers” – 1st place overall
“Run Freedom, Run” – 1st place overall
“Marry You” – 1st place duet overall
“We Own the Night” – 1st place overall

Grace McOrmond

Andy and Grace McOrmond: A Dynamic Father-Daughter Duo


 Grace is whole-heartedly into her game of Ms. PacMan at YESTERcades in Red Bank. Her dad Andy is watching, cheering her on. Nothing going on around them breaks their attention away from each other. The two are completely invested in the time they spend together. Grace time is precious time for Andy.

Grace McOrmondEight-year-old Grace is a miniature version of Andy, in personality and character. She is the only daughter of Andy and his wife Joanna of Rumson.

“We have very similar personalities,” said Andy. “We’re both outgoing and openly express ourselves. We talk a lot, and we talk about everything.  We have a good time together no matter what we’re doing.”

Part of their intense bond comes from their time dancing together. Grace is a dancer at Kick Dance Studio. To say she loves to dance and perform would be an understatement.

“I love making other people happy,” said Grace. “I love to perform. I love to sing. I love to dance. I just love to feel the different types of music flow while I dance. It just makes me feel good and happy.”

In fact, Grace seems to be most comfortable when she’s entertaining family and friends. Putting on a show in her outgoing style.

“I especially love the holidays because it’s when all my family gets together and I perform for them,” said Grace. “Sometimes I sing, sometimes I dance, sometimes I do both.”

Andy and Grace have been dancing together since Grace was a baby, dad dancing daughter around before bed to lull her to sleep. And Andy and Grace are still dancing.

Grace McOrmondThe father-daughter duo is dynamic.  A force to be reckoned with on the dance floor. At the annual Kick Dance recital, daddy-daughter dances are a tradition, and Andy and Grace have participated for years. For the two of them, taking part in that tradition was a no-brainer.

“These dances are something Grace is going to remember,” said Andy. “I know by the look on her face that she’s happy and for me that’s everything.”

And it’s not just the day of the big dance that Andy and Grace will cherish.

“We just love it,” said Andy. “It’s not just that moment on the stage, but the time we spend practicing together. It’s that little thing you share together, just the two of you.”

Each year Andy and Grace take their dance to a new level, with Grace gaining confidence, going for bigger and bolder moves with her dad.

Spending time with Grace is Andy’s top priority. He spends three weeks a month on the road for work, so when he’s home, he’s with Grace.

“We’ve been buddies from day one,” said Andy of the tight bond the two share. “I give her my energy when I’m with her and in turn she gives me back that same energy, always including me in her life.”

Grace is at her happiest when she is performing, whether it’s on stage for an audience, at Kick Dance with her friends, or at home for her family. On stage, Andy sees a kid who has confidence through the roof. Some of that is innate. Some of that is dance.

“Grace isn’t shy,” said Andy. “When she was four or five she wanted to do a solo. She wasn’t ever scared and had the biggest smile on her face.”

And Andy attributes a big part of that confidence to her involvement in Kick Dance.

“Kick has given her challenges to overcome,” said Andy. “Those challenges have helped her become more athletic and flexible. Her physical confidence has sky rocketed.”

Confidence isn’t the only thing that Grace has gained from dancing at Kick.

“She’s an only child and it’s a great opportunity for her to be around other kids,” said Andy. “She’s made such great friends by being at Kick Dance.”

There’s no doubt that Andy is Grace’s biggest supporter and cheerleader.

“I’m so proud of her,” he said. “I can see how Kick has helped her success now and will help her in the future. These are the character building blocks every kid needs and doing dance all these years has been great for her.”

Grace’s face lights up when her dad walks into a room, but Andy’s lights up even brighter when he sees Grace in her element, dancing, performing and being her outgoing and confident self.

See Grace’s outgoing personality in action in this video:

Photos by Purelee Photography

Henry Berry

Henry Berry: Radiating Self-Confidence


He’s got rhythm. He’s got balance. He’s got the beat. And most of all, he’s got confidence.

Eight-year-old Henry Berry plays soccer and baseball and takes guitar and karate lessons. That’s a busy schedule for a youngster, and it takes a tremendous amount of focus and passion to be that active at 8 years old.

Henry BerryHenry learned discipline early on from his time taking dance classes at Kick Dance Studios, where he started dancing at 2. We should mention that Henry’s mother is Vanessa Berry, owner of the dance studio, so dance was in Henry’s blood from day one. Or earlier if you ask Vanessa, who often felt Henry move around in her belly when pregnant.

Henry is able to focus and succeed in all his extracurricular activities because of the tremendous self-confidence that dance has instilled in him.

“Henry’s level of confidence has sky rocketed,” said Vanessa. “It’s amazing to see him so confident when performing on stage.”

And that confidence has carried over into other aspects of Henry’s life.

“He’s so confident in the classroom, on the playground, in sports and at karate,” said Vanessa.

In fact, Henry’s dōjō commented on his great balance and conditioning. And his guitar teacher noticed Henry’s ear for timing and rhythm. All of these are skills Henry picked up in dance.

The 8-year-old is a social butterfly, especially during dance classes. He looks forward to being on a team with the other boys at the studio, but Henry feels at home in any group.

“I get along with everyone,” said Henry.

Henry BerryWe think the world needs more attitudes just like that.

Henry is just as comfortable in a big group of dancers as he is performing a solo in front of an audience. It’s this kind of self-confidence that has made Henry up for anything.

During the photoshoot for Kick Dance Studio’s 15th anniversary celebration at Small Factory Productions in Fair Haven, it took no time at all until Henry was up on a table, jumping sky high with a huge grin on his face for the camera. His confidence shining through each second. The kid is comfortable in his skin.

Dance has taught Henry to listen and follow directions, which are vital skills to have when performing solos or dancing in a group.

“His retention is excellent,” said Vanessa. “It’s just you out there, and it’s a huge responsibility to remember the steps and the movements.”

And Henry is loving it. In fact, Henry loves all aspects of dancing.

We asked Henry to pick a favorite kind of dance, but he couldn’t do it.

“I really like them all,” said Henry. “I like all the different styles, they’re all so fun.”

Whether it’s breakdancing with the hip hop group or practicing ballet in a room full of girls, Henry genuinely loves all kinds of dance.

“He’s just totally comfortable in every kind of situation,” said Vanessa.

There can be a lot of pressure being the son of a dance studio owner, but Henry embraced his role and has blossomed into a great dancer, full of confidence and self-assurance.

As Kick Dance Studios celebrates its 15th anniversary, we’ll be featuring some of our dancers, like Henry, and the personal stories that make them unique.

Photos by Purelee Photography