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Westside Dance to Celebrate New Studio with Grand Opening Party

Westside Dance, a classical ballet and dance school offering a variety of quality dance education for children and adults, will celebrate the opening of its new studio at 2009 De la Vina St. with a grand opening party from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3.

The celebration is open to all ages and will include dance games, giveaways and the opportunity to win prizes and discounts on dance classes. Refreshments will be also be provided.

“Everyone wants to boost their productivity in 2015, and the new year brings that push to create new goals, start new exercise programs and the drive to get fit,” said Jennifer Phillips, teacher and owner of Westside Dance. “As part of our expansion, we’ll be offering new classes for adults, including daily 30-minute workout classes to kick-start the day. Pair that with a cup of coffee next door at The Daily Grind and you’re good to go!”

Westside Dance offers affordable dance education for children and adults, without enrollment fees or annual registration. Courses range from $6-12 per class depending on frequency.

“We’re also one of the only ballet schools in town with a simple, drop-in enrollment program for children,” Phillips said. “We help them learn to love dance so they want to be there. I believe the early years of training should be fun, not mandatory.”

Phillips contributes the success of her classical ballet studio to the community’s support and volunteerism. Over the past two years, Westside Dance has been thriving in the most unlikely place — amid the many tasty Mexican eateries on San Andres.

When Phillips and her husband bought their home in Santa Barbara’s upper Westside, they were excited to explore and invest in their new neighborhood.

“On a walk one day I saw a group of little girls outside a karate studio waiting for their brothers and I thought, ‘I bet these girls would love to learn to dance!’” Phillips said.

The initial support came from the owner of local business Koei Kan Karate, who rented Phillips studio space in off hours at a reasonable rate, creating an opportunity for her to offer ballet classes for only $10.

“It wasn’t an ideal dance studio, there were nunchucks on the walls after all, but I was so grateful to be in the middle of the community and the response was immediate,” Phillips said.

The second major community boost came from La Cumbre Junior High, whose theater department hosted the studio’s first recital. Since their first performance in June 2013, Westside Dance has grown to 75 students with a beautifully diverse socio-economic and ethnic makeup.

Above all, Phillips says it was the support she received from the parents who volunteered at every turn, from providing cookies after dance recitals to flowers to throw during Fiesta. The giving spirit has made it possible or her to offer a top quality experience at an affordable cost.

Westside Dance’s success is a reflection of a community that may not necessarily be able to afford high costs, but certainly has a lot to give.

For more information, click here or call 805.637.8773.

— Daniella Alkobi is a publicist representing Westside Dance.

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