Teaneck, NJ-Oct, 2016

Hi my name is Andreia Keller, I'm a Brazilian living in America for the past 19 years, because I fell in love with a wonderful man, the Broadway performer Jeff Keller.
Yes...I'm a very passionate person. I'm also an artist, a dancer, a dance teacher, and a dance studio owner, and I love every moment of what I do. With this new season starting, I entered a program on how to improve your dance studio, where they asked me to write a profile of my studio. Well this is my Big question, and the reason I ask you to help me.
What is DACC? Is it a dance studio that enters in competitions and displays their trophies in the windows or photos of their medals on the internet? No DACC is so NOT that...I don’t have the motivation to do that with my students.
DACC is ART… ART is feelings, ART is creativity, not a contest. ART is too subjective to be valued by numbers.
Mikhail Baryshnikov, my idol, once said…“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” And this phrase is exactly how I think.
The program also told me that competition pushes the dancers to do better. My question is: better in what? And don't take me wrong...I don't discount the values of great shows like "So You Think You Can Dance, American idol, the Voice etc...I appreciate the fantastic opportunity to show the world these amazing talents. But I don’t appreciate the contest. Because what happens when you have a kid that is not talented enough or has some disability...but with a heart full of passion and love for dance or singing?. We know that kid never could make it in one of these competitions, but yes, they always will make it at DACC...the great feeling of winning will be displayed in a big window of the smile of this child.
This is the goal of DACC. Of course my ego side feels great when our students reach Broadway, like a few of them did, but at the end of the day, I always ask myself...what do you want to teach your kids? The strongest part inside me wants to do with them what my grand-parents did their best with me. I want to teach them the value of integrity, the value of honesty, the value of being happy, the value of respect.
DACC has great teachers, helping the students improve in their technique. DACC has an amazing facility providing the dancers safety against injuries. DACC has an injection of ART constantly, from the art display on the walls to the way the studio is decorated. DACC has an outstanding Annual Show, which is a showcase for all the students to show their parents, families, and friends their abilities and progress learned through the year. But for me all of this is not really the profile of DACC. For me it is the magical atmosphere that is always present that matters. DACC has a lobby filled with parents, aunts etc., interacting with each other, exchanging their stories, making them feel part of the comfortable universe where we are not alone. DACC is also a place where a hug and a kiss is always available, where there is a variety of races and religions, the crying, the laughing, the support, the comradery, the enthusiasm of a new choreography… it is freedom, it is equality and fraternity...it is a place where no one is better than anyone else.
So now I ask you...Do you feel that? Does this define DACC?
Share this with your friends and let's keep this beautiful place filled with lovers of art always! Love, Andreia