Ballet academy

Keystone Ballet Academy continues to grow | Business

For Emily Finer, owner of Keystone Ballet Academy, the ability to expand her dance studio in stages while staying in one location at the CAN BE Innovation Center has been integral to her success since opening in 2017.

Finer said CAN BE was a great place to start his studio, as it gave him the opportunity to grow as his growing studio needed without having to move to a bigger location each time.

“Knowing that I could expand where I am already located is ideal. My clientele knows my current location and the expansion will allow us to grow with a reasonable budget. As we acquire more students and our classes grow, we will be able to move into a space that will truly suit us and our students,” Finer said. “We are so lucky to have access to additional space within the CAN BE Innovation Center, allowing our school to grow. From the start, I envisioned our growth here.

Keystone Ballet Academy more than doubles the size of the studio to approximately 1,400 square feet. Finer said the additional space will allow for convenient lesson planning for current and future clients.

Along with having the space to grow, Finer said working with CAN DO’s Director of Economic Development, Jocelyn Sterenchock, has helped her feel more comfortable as she grows her business.

“Owning a business, running a business, growing a business and basing it all on a vision can be overwhelming. Jocelyn gives my business an outside perspective and she has a vested interest in seeing my business succeed. With his help, I was able to better understand what is needed to grow my vision and the right time to do it,” Finer said.

“Jocelyn is a great resource and has the knowledge to help a business owner understand their needs. Talking about expansion plans helped me realize that I was ready to take the next step and MAYBE having the space available made it possible.

Keystone Ballet Academy currently has nearly 100 students and continues to welcome new students every week. The studio offers classical ballet training with other dance styles offered to choose from, allowing students to increase their exposure to training that is an integral part of the classical ballet repertoire.

Last fall, Keystone Ballet Academy added programs for Elementary Tap (ages 5-8), Beginner Tap (ages 9-13) and Teen/Adult Tap (ages 13+).

This fall, the studio will add a new class called Progressing Ballet Technique, which Finer describes as “an innovative conditioning and body-strengthening program that has been designed to improve students’ technique in all dance styles and is taught by an instructor certified, ours, Brittany Lopo.

Keystone Ballet Academy will also expand its ballet program this fall to include Character Dance, which is a stylized representation of a traditional or national folk dance. Dance types will include czardes (a traditional Hungarian folk dance), mazurka (a lively Polish three-beat dance) and tarantella (a group of various Italian folk dances characterized by a fast and lively tempo accompanied by tambourines) and the flamenco (a fiery, rhythmic dance style based on the diverse folk and musical traditions of southern Spain). Studio students have been performing a traditional tarantella dance at the Italian Hazleton UNICO festival every fall for several years.

Finer is also launching a teaching assistant program at the studio, where qualified students will have the opportunity to work with an instructor and gain teaching assistant skills as well as work experience.

As Keystone Ballet Academy has grown and grown over the past four years, Finer said it’s been a wonderful experience to welcome children of all ages and adults to the studio. “It has been a lot of fun (offering ballet lessons for adults)! We see people who have always wanted to do ballet and who danced as children who love being back in the classroom because they are all continually surprising themselves with what they can do,” she said. “Parents who choose to bring their children to KBA do so because they value ballet as an art form and value the tradition of studying classical ballet.”