7 DAY SPOTLIGHT: Merge Dance Studio

Jun 18, 2014 0 comments
7 DAY SPOTLIGHT: Merge Dance Studio

Blog article by Manayunk Development Corporation Summer Intern, Katie Kavanaugh.

For the past two years, Christa Campbell of Merge Dance Studio has been showing off her passion of dance with the Manayunk community. Originally from Wisconsin, Campbell started dancing during her childhood and pursued a dance education at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pa. After a professional dance career in Indianapolis, she decided to bring her talents to Philadelphia. After living in Manayunk for ten years, she found that the area needed something both child and adult friendly. She wanted to create a space that was accessible and allowed for involvement for everyone in the area. In June 2012, she opened Merge Dance Studio.

Campbell would describe the studio as the place “where dance and fitness merge.” Her variety of classes include different types of dance and intense cardio work outs. She offers ballet, tap, jazz, modern/contemporary, jazz funk/hip hop, pointe, acro, creative movement, and mommy/daddy & me classes. The most popular children’s class is the creative movement class designed for kids ages 3-4, which teaches them the basics of ballet but in a fun setting where creativity in movement is encouraged. Her work out classes provide a challenging and energetic environment to make exercising intense and exciting for her students. One class is called “Piloxing” which combines a mix of boxing, Pilates and dance, high intensity cardio and burns up to 900 calories. Another work out class is the BARRE Fusion class, which is a mix of Pilates and ballet and incorporates the use of 3 lbs weights and a stability ball. Piloxing, BARRE Fusion, and Zumba are all offered regularly and are sure to get your heart rate going.

Classes are offered throughout the year and before each season, Merge hosts open houses for those who are interested in taking classes. The summer session open house will take place on Thursday, June 19th from 5pm-8pm and an additional open house will be held June 25th from 5pm-8pm. During the open house all are welcome to come in to talk about classes, sign up, ask questions, and get fitted for dancewear. Summer classes will begin July 7th. Campbell is planning to expand the studio's class offerings in the fall to include more weekend, daytime, and evening classes based on growing interest.

For those interested in performing, Campbell has started the Merge Dance Company, which performs at various local events and includes dancers of all ages. Auditions are held in September and performances happen throughout the year. All classes perform at an end-of-year recital in June at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School that is open to the public. This year’s recital will take place Saturday, June 21st at 6pm and include 29 dances plus a finale performance.

Campbell describes Manayunk as, “such a cool neighborhood, I love living here.” She decided that her studio would not compete because she wanted it to be about community and building relationships. “One of my goals when I opened this was to try and have a drama-free atmosphere where anyone could afford to and feel comfortable coming and taking a class,” she says. She hopes to expand Merge by opening another studio and including more dance levels, classes, and times.

For more information about Merge and getting involved, visit Merge’s website at www.mergedancestudio.com.

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