St. Albans Studio of Dance moves into new location
You can’t miss the bright pink building on Sixth Avenue in St. Albans.
It’s the new home of the St. Albans Studio of Dance, owned by veteran dance instructor Jamie Trent-Walker. Now in its 16th year, the St. Albans Studio of Dance is preparing for a new season of dance lessons and competitive events.
Registration for classes will run from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14, at her new studio, 1010 Sixth Ave., St. Albans.
Trent-Walker started dancing at age 3 and has been involved in many aspects of dance and cheerleading since then. Before opening the St. Albans Studio of Dance, she coached the cheerleading team at St. Albans High School.
“I coached the St. Albans High School cheerleaders right out of college,” Trent-Walker said. “I did that for five years, and as soon as I stopped that, I opened the studio.”
At the St. Albans Studio of Dance, children through adults can learn a wide variety of dance styles. Students can also try out for St. Albans Studio of Dance competitive teams.
“We offer pretty much anything that you want. We have an award-winning baton twirling team and we have national award-winning dance teams. We just finished the Show Stoppers Nationals in South Carolina,” she said.
The St. Albans Studio of Dance also has the honor of performing in a famous New York City parade.
“We participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year and will return again this year.”
Classes at St. Albans Studio of Dance include tap, modern, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, ballet technique and pointe and leaps and turns.
“We also offer acrobatics and tumbling.”
Trent-Walker said among the hottest dance styles these days is ballet technique, lyrical and leaps and turns.
“And modern-contemporary (dance) is huge,” she said, “and we offer that.”
Modern-contemporary dance features a lot of leaps, turns and “a lot of fluid movements. It’s more interpretive,” Trent-Walker said.
Trent-Walker said her studio was featured once on the Lifetime television network show, “Dance Moms.” They shot a segment at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theater.
“When they came to Charleston, we were on that.”
The show focused on the ballet techniques, pointe and leaps and turns, she said.
Walker said many dance styles “stem from ballet.”
Hip-hop dance techniques are also popular, especially with Trent-Walker’s younger male students.
“They have a ball,” she said.
Trent-Walker said more boys are signing up for dance lessons than in years past.
“We’ve had boys for about five years now.”
Students as young as 2-and-a-half can sign up for lessons at the St. Albans Studio of Dance. Adults frequently sign up for lessons to try something new or to reaquaint themselves with an activity they did as children.
“Adults love it; some either danced in school or they’ve never done it and want to try it. We have adults who love to dance. It’s their time to shine just like everybody else.”
Students can also try out for dance teams.
“We have five dance teams and a baton twirling team,” she said.
Most classes at the St. Albans Studio of Dance are in the evenings, but there are some Saturday morning classes, as well. Trent-Walker also plans to offer daytime “Mommy & Me” classes for mothers and their children.
Trent-Walker said dance helps to develop self-confidence in children. Parents of her students often tell Trent-Walker how dance has helped their children “come out of their shells.”
Whether it’s performing in St. Albans Studio of Dance’s recitals or for the studio’s traveling, competitive dance teams, the dancers fall in love with being on stage.
“When they hit that big stage, they absolutely love it. They want to do it again and again and again.”
St. Albans Studio of Dance students are like a family, Trent-Walker said.
“We have a dance family here; these groups and classes -- they bond. They build relationships and friendships that they carry on forever.”
Trent-Walker said she is excited about her new location on Sixth Avenue. She moved there from her longtime location on B Street, where she shared space with other businesses.
“We’re excited about the new space -- it’s going to be great. This will be just us, and that’s one of the good things about it,” she said, adding that she hopes to move into her new space by the end of August.
The new St. Albans Studio of Dance has a large, open main dance room, plus a second, smaller dance space. There is also a waiting room for parents.
When students register for the upcoming dance season on Aug. 14, they can register for a free year of dance lessons.
“When they register with us, they can put their name in a jar, and every year we give away a free year of dance for a family,” Trent-Walker said.
For more information about St. Albans Studio of Dance, call 304-727-7150 or visit www.stalbansstudioofdance.com. St. Albans Studio of Dance also has a Facebook page.