Stacey’s Dance Studio honors small business successes after COVID

Photos by Janelle Patterson Sarah Brooker, 18, of Williamstown, descends in a dance en pointe at The Anchorage in Marietta on Friday.

If you go

¯ What: Stacey’s Dance Studio recital honoring local businesses who survived coronavirus shutdowns.

¯ Where: Odyssey theater in the Lafayette Plaza in Marietta.

¯ When: Wednesday at 6 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.; Thursday at 6 p.m.

¯ Purchase tickets for $12 only at Stacey’s Dance Studio, 205 Pike St., Monday and Tuesday.

Left to right: Sarah Brooker, Olivia Huck, Cassidy Graham and Jalen Thompson dance for the filming of the Stacey’s Dance Studio recital. The recorded premier is scheduled for debut Wednesday and Thursday at the Odyssey theater in Marietta.

Source: Stacey Johnson.

Last year, many local businesses had to dance.

“The regulations were changing, it was something new all the time,” described Stacey Johnson, of Marietta. “And it was especially hard for small business owners.”

So to celebrate not only surviving the pandemic as a small business but also cheer on those who similarly had to pivot and pirouette throughout 2020 health recommendation changes, economic uncertainty and familial heartache, Stacey’s Dance Studio gathered its 67 dancers ages 18 months to 18 years old in 25 differing dance combinations of ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, pointe and musical theater to celebrate community resiliency.

“We want to rejoice, all the businesses that were able to stay open during COVID,” said the studio owner. “Some of the businesses we chose are studio family, some are our favorite local restaurants, the ones that feed our dancers. We had to just pick 25, but we wanted to celebrate getting through something we’ve never seen in our lifetimes.”

Olivia Huck, 16, of Warren Township, dances between the pillars of The Anchorage in Marietta on Friday.

The studio’s 25 dances were filmed, many on-location of the businesses honored, to be cut together into a short film.

Friday’s final filming was at The Anchorage, honoring both the Washington County Historical Society and Hidden Marietta.

“Some smaller businesses, you don’t see their names every day, but they matter just as much as the history of our town,” Johnson explained.

This film will serve as a recital, too, for the dancers who stuck with their passion despite a tumultuous year.

“Because our families and our dancers stuck with us, we were able to stay open, hold classes virtually, we were able still to do competitions though they were completely different this year,” Johnson explained. “This year was nothing like what we’re used to seeing, but it was still fantastic and they were so resilient through everything … Dance is hard, but when you put in the hard work the reward is amazing. And though they knew this was going to be a hard thing, they all wanted to dance so badly that they did the work to come back … their resilience, their drive and love for dance, that was the motivator to try and make it through.”

Megan Mestuzzi, 16, raises her arms into fifth position during the filming of a dance on the porch of The Anchorage on Friday.

Other businesses honored in the recital also include:

¯ Bella Via Salon.

¯ The Busy Bee.

¯ The Cook’s Shop.

¯ Dad’s Primitive Workbench.

¯ Goldline Jewelers.

¯ Jill Martin Photography.

¯ Joe Momma’s Kitchen.

¯ Kev’s Kars.

¯ Lady Envy Tattoo.

¯ Lisa’s Sweet Stop.

¯ Mallett Rentals.

¯ Marietta Brewing Company.

¯ Marietta Gretta.

¯ Nailvana.

¯ Peddler of Dreams.

¯ Putnam Chocolates.

¯ Rockstar Wellness LLC.

¯ Shirt Tales.

¯ Stoked Coffee.

¯ Tampico’s.

¯ We Love Pets.

¯ Witten’s Farms.

¯ Wit and Whimzy.

“As a community, we made it,” said Johnson.

But for Sarah Brooker, 18, of Williamstown, the best part of the off-beat recital?

“Just getting to be with my bestie girls again,” she said. “Last year just kind of ended without getting to dance with some of my besties who graduated. But now, it’s good to be back, to be dancing and teaching the little ones.”

Brooker said next up on her list is continuing her education with the goal of becoming a speech-language pathologist.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.


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