Off Broadway Dance Company
Owners Pat Balderas and Geri Messer created Off Broadway by purchasing the Manhattan Dance Company in 2011, and they have been growing steadily ever since. They maintain their studio in the Common Space in order to keep costs down and fees low. Many of their students are working women, who attend class on evenings and Saturdays.
The adults taking tap dance lessons at this studio located in the Common Space are often also the stars in performances given throughout the community. Their big event is the Annual Showcase staged each year at the Maumee High School Performing Art Center.
These folks are serious about tap dancing; most of them attend two or three lessons each week, and progress from “beginner” to “advanced” under the guidance of the area’s finest teachers. This makes Off Broadway unique in the Toledo area.
Pat and Geri had the help of SCORE mentors Dennis Snell and Alan Messer, who have guided them in their growth and in planning for the future. Space will soon become an issue; there were two classes each week when they started (with 30 students), and the walls are now bulging with eight classes (and 55 students).
Adults range in age from 22 to 72, and most look forward to participating in the Company’s performances. They have an extensive community outreach program, going to nursing homes and the like. But they also are becoming well known as performers at various functions in the area. And that Annual Showcase attracted 700 paid attendees last year!
Pat and Geri emphasize that we are “all adults taught by adults; this is not an exercise class; we don’t dumb it down; this is really a professional operation.” But they are quick to say that not everyone wants to be a performer, and others who are interested in learning the skills of tap dancing are certainly welcome!
Go to their excellent web site: www.offbroadwaydancecompany.com for more information.
SCORE is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and may be reached at 419.259.7598 and www.nwoscore.org