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Blessing in Disguise For Rhythms Dance Academy

Dance studio uses roof collapse as opportunity to move to bigger space.

When the roof on the building containing Rhythms Dance Academy collapsed due to the heavy show this winter,  Barbara Stambo and her daughter, Heather, had no choice but to begin scouting locations for a new studio.

“The timing was not good because we were in the middle of our season, but it worked out,” Barbara Stambo said. “Things happen for a reason.”

They made a number of calls and quickly signed a lease for their new location in Warehouse Point. For about six weeks, they had classes temporarily at a church, and then were able to move in their new studio on March 21.

Heather Stambo, the owner, director and choreographer at the studio, said she is excited the new studio is more visible and centrally located. “We are hoping for a fresh start.”

The new studio, at ., is bigger than the previous location on Route 140, with a larger waiting room and separate rooms for birthday parties. The studio offers classes for ages 3 through adult in tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop and lyrical dance. They also offer Zumba classes for adults. Classes are eight weeks long, and they have options for all experience levels.

Kathy Adinolfi, of Manchester, recently started an adult tap class at Rhythms Dance.

“They were very accommodating when we called, a lot of studios don’t offer adult classes,” she said. “We are having a lot of fun.”

Lynn Faherty, of Suffield, who also is in the class, agreed that it has been fun. “They have been very patient with me, as I started late,” she said.

“It is a fun way to meet new people and get exercise,” said Joanne Roche, of West Hartford.

The adults are excited to be part of the recital in June, which will include all ages. Tickets are on sale now and will be available at the door for the show on June 4 at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield.

Alechia Swaim, whose 7-year-old daughter has taken dance lessons at the studio for three years, said the new space is much roomier with a bigger waiting room and party rooms. Previously, you had to walk through the dance space when you entered, which was inconvenient if a parent or student arrived late and had to walk through an ongoing class, she said.

Miss Heather, as she is known to her students, has taught dance since she was 16.

“I have been dancing since I could walk,” said Heather, now 23. She started teaching at different studios around the state when she was 16 and opened her own studio at 19.

She is a member of the Connecticut Dance Alliance. She attended Hartford Conservatory for dance performance. She also has worked with different schools as a choreographer for drama productions.

She said hopes to start a class for teens during the summer, as a pre-professional class that could enter competitions. They also offer summer dance camps for ages 5 to 9, as well as summer classes. Registration dates are June 11, 15, 16 and 18. Call the studio at 860-386-0512 for more information.

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