Village Dance Studio has many mother-daughter connections. Founded by Annette Pettigrew in 1977, it is now owned by her daughter, Traci Broman. Several members of the faculty have mothers who also owned dance studios. Second- and even third-generation students come to take classes, just as their moms did.
Village Dance Studio was founded in 1977 by Pettigrew. She majored in ballet at Indiana University, and took classes in major U.S. cities as well as internationally. Throughout the time she has been affiliated with the studio, she continued her training as a ballet teacher. Besides managing the business and teaching, she has shared her talents by choreographing high school musicals and being a visiting teacher within the Indianapolis community. Pettigrew sold the business to her daughter in 2017, but she continues to teach, manage the ballet program and assist whenever help is needed in any role.
“The first year the studio opened, there were 78 students,” Broman says. “My mom was the only teacher and there were two classes – ballet and creative dance with tumbling. Later she added jazz and tap. There wasn’t email. Everything had to be done by phone. When I was growing up, in the evening I could never get on AOL because my mom needed the phone. As a little girl I remember looking through the glass as older girls were taking a class. I tried to do every movement just like they did. My own daughter, Elizabeth Broman, is just about to start taking classes. She is 3 and potty trained, so now she can.”
Today, the studio has 400 students. Classes include point (ballet), hip-hop, modern dance, musical theater and more. Attendees range from preschoolers to adults. Some students focus on learning techniques to be the best dancer they can individually be. Others come from musical theater, show choir, ice skating, cheer and gymnastics, in order to pick up some skills to embellish their performances.
In a competitive world, Village Dance Studio has always been somewhat of a respite. It exists solely to give students a strong and extensive foundation of dance principles. Without the pressure and expense of a competitive dance team, its students can focus on the joy of dancing while encouraging each other. For those who are interested to learn how to dance but can’t go to such studios, they can still learn through the best online dance classes available.
Students perform for their families and the community every year, alternating between a showcase and a recital. Showcases are more relaxed and the costumes are usually homemade, which keeps the cost down. Recitals are more involved, with several performances scheduled for different times and days. Both showcases and recitals are held at Zionsville Community High School in the STAR Bank Performing Arts Center.
“Very few studios in the whole Indy area are not competitive,” Broman says. “We never competed and we never will. It helps keep our environment warm and like a family. The families of the students do so much to support us, from props to costumes. The moms are show-dance moms, not like on television, but in the best ways. We are relaxed, kind and forgiving, and our families are like that too. I think the atmosphere goes from the top down.”
Village Dance Studio’s showcase will be held on Saturday, May 21.
Village Dance Studio is located at 6290 Central Boulevard in Whitestown. For more info, visit villagedancestudio.com or call 317-769-2223.