More than 20 dancers from Footworks Dance Studio are competing head-to-head in a new online show, “VS. The Dance Comp. Battle,” hosted by DanceBUG.
“VS. The Dance Comp. Battle,” which premiered Friday, Sept. 16, showcases different dance studios competing head-to-head in a variety of different dance styles in the first season of the online show.
Footworks was one of the 30 selected studios picked out of thousands of entries.
Studio owner Krystie Serviss said she was excited and shocked when she learned the studio had been selected.
“We were really proud because it helps show the dancers all of their hard work has paid off,” Serviss said. “Putting their dance aside, putting their talent aside, I really am lucky with these girls. They’re fantastic all-around, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of it.”
DanceBUG, an organization that offers a plethora of dance services, studio and recital services, and competition services, reached out to all the studios who have been involved with the organization about the show.
Interested studios were asked to fill out a questionnaire as well as send past videos of dances.
Each week, DanceBUG will pull five random studios and show their filmed videos, allowing judges to give feedback and then letting the audience vote. The show also will include video interview snippets from select dancers at the studios.
Ayla Carroll, 14, who has been dancing for 12 years, said she is thrilled to be participating in the show.
“I love to dance, because all of the people are really encouraging, and it really helps grow my passion,” Carroll said. “It’s really cool being on the show, because it’s a way of showing off the hard work that we’ve been putting in, and it’s really good pay off for everything that we’ve done.”
Isabella Ward, 17, got involved with dance when she was only 3 years old and has been at Footworks for the entirety of her dance career.
“It’s just an outlet to really let me express myself and feel like I’m free,” she said.
Sophie Catanzariti, 13, who has been dancing since she was 5 years old, said her favorite part of dance and the studio’s competitions is cheering on her teammates and having them support her, too.
The 24 competing dancers from Footworks range in age from 8 through 18.
The dance videos include a few different varieties of performance such as musical theater, contemporary and lyrical.
Serviss said the show is good exposure for both the studio and its dancers, also giving the performers validation for their hard work, with most of them working to perfect their skills at the studio since a young age.
The show will go live at 7 p.m. Fridays. Those interested can watch and vote on the DanceBUG app or website.
Footworks was established to provide quality performing arts instruction to the local community.
Serviss said the studio has something for everyone, offering both competitive and recreational classes.
The dancers start as young as 18 months and go up to adults. Class options include combo classes, single genre, creative movement, aerial silks, acrobatics, ballet, hip hop, jazz, tap, contemporary and musical theater.
Serviss said she has a talented team of staff members who help her teach the classes, and she mainly works with the competitive students.
The instructor said she tries to set her students up for success when they leave the studio with core values such as self motivation, confidence, reliability, discipline and teamwork.
“I want them to leave here not just being good dancers, but being good human beings,” she said of her ultimate goal for the students.
Serviss is no stranger as to what it takes to make it in the dance world.
She started dancing when she was only 3 years old and began competing when she was in the seventh grade. She later earned her degree in dance from Slippery Rock University.
The studio owner moved from Long Island, New York, to Clermont in 2012 and taught at a dance studio while also working at Disney, until she transitioned in 2016 to teach at Footworks.
When the previous owner of the studio decided to retire, Serviss knew it was her chance to pursue a lifelong dream and took over the studio in August 2019, right before the onset of the pandemic.
Although owning the studio is challenging, the instructor said it is also rewarding.
“Ever since I was little, it was my goal to open my own studio,” she said. “I really just can’t picture myself doing anything else. I love working with kids; I love creating. … It just really is my passion.”
Serviss said she would love to expand the studio, because the space is at its capacity, as well as grow and recruit more students.
The dancers are currently working on new content for their upcoming competition season, which runs from January through May.
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