With its reputation as one of Forest Hills' best places to get together with friends and family, Exo Cafe has become the place to go to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers or brunch. This trendy and casual hotspot located on Austin Street has three levels, an open-loft area, a wrap-around central bar with five flat screens, rooms and space for quiet rendezvous … [Read More...] about Forest Hills Go To Spot For All Occasions: Exo Cafe
Dreams of Tutus, Tap, Jazz hands, and thunderous applause? Look no further! All Star Studios is a Forest Hills based business that can help you fulfill those dreams.
Whether you’re a beginning dancer or experienced one, All Star Studios has a wide variety of classes for ages 3 to adult. Classes are led by teachers who are well-qualified and are passionate about dance and about the students they are training. All Star Studios is a bright, clean, and spacious facility offering parent viewing windows as well as a well-equipped waiting area which is ideal for parents with smaller children.
This dance and theater school provides opportunities for movement, muscle training, flexibility, and fun! Their website is easy to navigate and provides an online portal for registering students. Forest Hills Today spun a few questions their way which were answered by owner, Rysa:
1. We read that you started the dance studio in 2008, could you please tell our readers what it was like during the first year of running a business?
It was exciting and scary!!! I was fortunate enough to run the studio under another name with a silent partner from 2004-2008, which gave me time to build up a wonderful staff and dancers for our All Star Family. I did as much as I could to really get into the schools and community in those four years to help get our name out and help people understand what our dance studio would be about.
Taking it over on my own in 2008 was a daunting, but wonderful challenge. I did lots of reading and research to make sure I was making the best decisions for my teachers and my dancers…while still trying to wrap my brain around all the dynamics of actually running a small business. I’m thankful to have had such strong support from my staff and the families who’ve continued with us.
2. Why did you decide to start a business in Forest Hills and what distinguishes Forest Hills from other neighborhoods?
Forest Hills is such a thriving, energetic, family-oriented community!! My silent partner from the previous studio had done her research and found such a wonderful town in 2004. There was no way I could see being anywhere else when I expanded in 2008.
3. What type of dances do you offer and which is the most popular program?
We offer Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Dance Improv, Acrobatics, Ballet, and Pointe. All of the genres are very popular, but our Acro classes fill up the fastest! It is a combination of gymnastics-type floor work/tumbling and dance so the kids love putting the two skills together.
4. What’s the best age to get kids started in the dance program and which program would be the best for beginners?
We truly believe that, developmentally, dancers should start taking class around the age of 3. This is an important time for them where they start successfully separating from their parents and also crave dance training rather than just free dancing to music.
I tell families that call wanting a program for their 2 year old that we don’t want to make it ‘school’ for them too early…if they love dancing around, the best thing is to dance with them to every style of music you have access to. This will help their musicality tremendously when and if they do decide to dance later on!! I could create a class like this, but it just doesn’t feel right to be making a profit on teaching skills that the family can do right in their living room!
We have level-1 dance classes that are great for beginners that want to start at any age!!! You don’t have to start at age 3 to be a successful dance student, you just have to have the desire and dedication!!
5. How has the neighborhood changed in the last five years?
Forest Hills is wonderful about keeping clean and the Chamber of Commerce does a great job of trying to keep community activities thriving, but unfortunately, it is sad to watch so many small businesses be run out of the neighborhood or out of business altogether because of increased rents. So many of the spaces have been taken up by banks and doctor’s offices because they are the only businesses that can afford the space. Some spaces also stay empty for so long…. I feel like the small businesses are what really add to the charm of Forest Hills, so I hope the pendulum starts to swing the other way soon!
6. What’s the hottest music for dance right now?
That definitely depends on the genre of dance, but we are seeing an increase in blending of styles used in music today. This blend makes it interesting for us to choreograph to and for the students to dance to! Part of our job is to not only keep up with the musical trends of today, but for the benefit of our dancers’ education, to also introduce them to amazing music from the past!
7. Besides classes, what other activities are available for student participation throughout the year at All Star Studios?
Along with the family atmosphere that we strive for at All Star Studios, giving back to the community through our art form is something that we stress to our dancers. Our Shining Star dance team does do competition, but that is not where we like to put our main focus.
The teams do a multitude of performances in order to share their love of dance with the community and fund raise for those in need! Outside of their year-end recital, many of the team dancers perform at the annual street fairs on Austin Street, for seniors in nursing homes, and for kids in programs at the Queens Center Mall. The dancers have also done an amazing job doing fundraising events and shows for Autism Speaks. Seeing the pride that the kids have after spreading the joy of dance is without comparison!
Besides dance performances, we encourage the All Stars Studio family to give back to the community in ways such as: PJammin’ Party which raises funds for the American Childhood Cancer Association (ACCO), by donating time, gifts, or money to City Harvest, Forestdale Foster Care & Social Services, and From Our Hearts To Your Toes.
Just for extra fun, we also give the dancers the opportunity to perform center-court at Madison Square Garden, the Barclay’s Center, and on the field at Citifield!
Not sure what you or your child might enjoy? Try one of All Star Studio’s classes for free!
Learn more about All Star Studios Forest Hills, their staff, and their schedule at: AllStarStudiosNYC.com
All Stars Studios is located at: 108-21 72nd Ave #1, Forest Hills, NY 11375