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The Dance Club

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Thirty years ago, a young Sheryl Dowling advertised for dance auditions to be held in a small space on West Center Street in Provo. Three hundred dancers attended that first audition for what was to become the Dance Club, a competitive dance studio in Orem that offers jazz, ballet, hip hop and tap.

In May, the Dance Club received a Best of State award for best dance studio, and it is a well-deserved honor. Over the past three decades, the studio has built a national reputation for its amazing technique and performing abilities. This summer alone, 29 of the studio's dancers ages 10 to 17 have earned the right to compete against hundreds of other talented dancers at the New York City Dance Alliance, the most prestigious dance competition in the country. Last year, 16-year-old Nicole Knudson of North Ogden won the competition's National Outstanding Teen Dancer award and 13-year-old Alexia Meyer of Orem was first runner up in the junior category. Very impressive.

Alumni can be seen performing and choreographing on Broadway, with the Rockettes, in High School Musical I, II and III, and even in the hit TV show, "So You Think You Can Dance." Dance Club alumna Allison Holker finished in the top eight on the program's second season, and during the show's most recent season, Utahn Randi Evans finished in the top 10. Joey Dowling, Sheryl's daughter, has choreographed Broadway dances for two episodes of the most recent season.

Equally notable is the work the studio performs in the community. Since 2002, the Dance Club has joined with two other Utah studios to create a Shriners Hospital benefit concert, earning more than $175,000 for children in need of medical assistance. Last year the studio also began offering a free weekly special-needs class, allowing these children to experience the joy and camaraderie that comes from dancing.

Allison Thornton, who joined Sheryl as co-owner in 2005, said the Dance Club strives to not only provide students with the technical skills to pursue a professional dance career but also to arm them with essential life skills. It definitely appears to be working!

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

The Dance Club 983 N. State Orem, UT 84057 801-224-4400

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