Starting March 1, Ahwatukee Foothills children will have one more place to express themselves through movement when Innerlight Dance Center opens.

Kari Smith-Klimuck, owner of Innerlight Dance Center, is closing her studio in Mesa and re-opening in Ahwatukee Foothills.

“I kept getting more and more students from Ahwatukee driving to Mesa, so now we’re moving,” Smith-Klimuck said. “When my husband and I first moved to Arizona we lived in Ahwatukee, and we love the community.”

All levels from beginning to advanced are welcome at Innerlight, with classes including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop and tumbling. Mommy and Me classes will also be available for 2- and 3-year-olds.

“It’s hard for the 2-year-olds to go into class by themselves,” Smith-Klimuck said. “It’s amazing how much progress they make by the time they’re two and a half.”

Innerlight Dance Studio participates in dance competitions, but according to Smith-Klimuck, competition is not the heart of her studio.

“We like to do charity events and things that benefit the community,” she said. “I want the girls to get out and perform as much as possible.”

Smith-Klimuck began dancing when she was 18 months old, and opening up a dance studio has always been a dream of hers.

“I started teaching when I was 15, and I started assisting and choreographing at 16,” she said. “I had a baby girl two years ago, and I’m excited about having her be a part of the studio.”

Innerlight Dance Center has a diverse group of teachers for its various classes, including ballet teacher Josh Brooksher, who used to dance with the Kirov Ballet in Russia, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet and Ballet Arizona.

“I put a lot of thought into choosing the teachers, and I’m very excited about our ballet department,” Smith-Klimuck said.

Another ballet teacher, Denise Colter, is excited about the new location for Innerlight Dance Center.

“The studio is going to be bigger, and there are going to be better floors, as well as a wonderful teaching staff,” she said.

According to Colter, dance benefits children in a number of ways.

“Dance teaches them coordination and poise, and the combinations in general are good for their brains,” she said. “I teach at several studios, but I most look forward to Innerlight because the students have total joy.”

Open registration for classes at Innerlight will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at the new location, 1334 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 12. For more information, call (602) 770-1867.

 

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