Talent Factory Arts & Dance Shines at a New Location
Writer / Rebecca Wood
Photographer / Jon Ellegood
Talent Factory Arts & Dance has glided into a new location. Owner Paula Kochert calls it a fresh season for the dance studio, in a uniquely designed space.
“We are excited to watch our dancers continue to learn and grow in their beautiful new dance home,” Kochert says.
At the grand reopening on September 4, staff members welcomed the public to the new locale. The studio is now located on Mount Zion Road in Lebanon with easy access to the interstate. Additionally, the space provides well-lit and ample parking in comparison to its previous site in downtown Lebanon.
The 5,000-square-foot-plus studio sits in the Lebanon Business Park. Kochert and her husband Jim, co-owner, renovated the space into a dancer’s dream. The new studio includes state-of-the art, sprung dance floors in the tap rooms. Stagestep dance floors were installed in other rooms.
“These floors provide some shock absorbency to prolong our dancers’ careers by helping to protect their joints,” Kochert says. “They are an investment in our staff and students’ health. The same floors can be found in the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.”
While the space may be different, the studio continues to offer its same sought-after classes. Performers starting at age 2 can choose from an array of offerings including jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, acro and musical theater.
The Kocherts have been dancing and directing shows for more than 20 years in Boone County. Jim hails from New York City and studied dance under Frank Hatchett at the Broadway Dance Center. Paula refers to herself as a “performer who can dance.” As a child, Paula yodeled at the Grand Ole Opry.
Two decades ago, Jim began directing choreography at Western Boone High School. Then the pair started dance camps through the school, which proved popular in the community. With the wealth of interest in their teaching, the couple considered opening a dance studio in Lebanon. “I thought, ‘If a building ever opens downtown, we need to do a dance studio,’” Kochert says.
When downtown space opened in 2015, the Kocherts opened Talent Factory.
Talent Factory is truly a family affair, as the Kocherts’ two daughters, Madeline and Marigrace, serve as dance instructors. Both girls were members of the Indiana Fever Inferno Hip-Hop Squad, and The Moving Company at IUPUI, a nonprofit dance organization.
Amy Konz, whose daughter Emily has been performing with the Talent Factory for eight years, says the Kocherts treat all their performers as part of their family.
“The Talent Factory is a very special place with very special people,” Konz says. “I am not just talking about the Talent Factory staff, I am talking about their students and families. It is like one big family. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful place for my daughter.”
Kochert expresses gratefulness to her families and the entire Boone County community.
“It’s just different here,” Kochert says. “In Lebanon we have a real sense of community.”
Talent Factory Arts & Dance is located at 384 North Mount Zion Road in Lebanon. For more info, call 765-894-9888 or go to talentfactoryarts.com.