We had the good fortune of connecting with Anacia Weiskittel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anacia, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
I have been developing Degas Dance Studio for over 10yrs. and I have learned many things the hard way and made Millions of dollars in mistakes and lost revenue. I feel that over this time period and the struggles with the recession and Covid-19 Pandemic I have earned a PHD in dance studio ownership. The one thing our clients consistently say when they move to another state is they simply can’t find anything like Degas Dance Studio. It is my next goal to franchise the studio to help new studio owners be successful and not have to learn things the hard way. I believe we have a tried and true system that works and can be duplicated with right training, mentoring, guidance and support. In addition one of the most critical aspects of our studio is our ability to train dancers from the ground up especially ages 3-10 and then transition to pre-professinal training. We have consistently, successfully raised multiple generations of top dancers that have won National Young Arts Awards, Music Center Spotlight awards, are attending the top colleges and dance programs across the world including Codarts University Netherlands, Copenhagen Contemporary Dance School, NYU, Vasser, University of Michigan, Barnard and tons more. In addition our students have been accepted and received scholarships to top International summer intensive programs including Jacobs Pillow, Bolshoi, ABT, SAB, San Fransisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Orsolina28, Martha Graham, Hubbard Street, European School of Ballet, Bodytraffic, Boston Ballet and tons more. It is a testament of our foundational training that we are able to consistently train this level of students that are still passionate, prepared and ready for the professional world. In addition many of our top dancers that do not go on to dance professionally have used these same skills to make them successful and the top of their classes in other areas including medicine, business, science, engineering and more. I have been teaching dance for over 30yrs and spent a great deal of time studying training techniques from all over the world to help develop the way I teach beginning and intermediate students that gives them the strongest foundation and sets them up for pre-professional training. This year I will also begin the process of teacher certification and training with these tried and true developed course methods in ballet, jazz, acro, creative movement, stretch & flexibility. I’ve found that the best dancers are not always the best teachers and that many teachers do not know how to train younger students from the ground up. Much of what is taught is often above the age/level of the students skills and is creating bad habits that are harder to fix later. A strong foundation while may take longer in the beginning is much faster and easier later. The training syllabus courses really make it easy for teachers to focus on those foundational blocks and what is age/level appropriate. I have always been a big picture visionary so franchising Degas Dance Studio and creating teacher training and certification seems like a natural progression to the next level of my business. By the end of my career since I will likely NEVER retire you will probably find me at the front desk of one of my grandchildren’s Degas Dance Studio telling the dance students “don’t forget to thank your teacher”.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Degas Dance studio is dedicated to instructing, educating and inspiring children to advanced professional performers in the ART of DANCE. Degas Dance Studio is a training and performance oriented studio with pre-professional opportunities and career guidance. Focus in on technique and artistry. Degas Dance Studio (pronounced Dey-Ga) was named after the French famous painter Edgar Degas who was known for painting dancers. We felt the name closely related to our philosophy and mission to teach children through advanced pre-professionals “The Art of Dance”. Degas Dance Studio is a training and performance oriented studio with pre-professional opportunities and career guidance. Focus is on technique and artistry. Our studio offers the highest level of instruction for recreational students Ages 3 to High School teens and accelorated Academy professional training for our team students. Degas Dance Studio faculty consists of LA top industry professionals many who teach master classes all over the world. We have handpicked the best of the best in each style so our students get a really well rounded and diverse study. Our students study in a wide range of styles and classes including Classical ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Acro, Jazz Funk, Hip Hop, Creative Movement, Modern, Musical Theatre, Tap, Choreography Composition and more. Students perform in our annual Nutcracker and end of the year full length original story productions as well as film works. We believe that professional performance opportunities are crucial to the learning process and create ever lasting memories. Our Degas Dance Team has performed for Clippers, LA Kings and Globetrotters half time at Staples Center, Disneyland California Adventure main stage as well as TV/Film. In addition our team performs several community and charity benefits that give students an opportunity to give back and contribute to their community in a meaningful way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would go to Melrose Trading Post at Fairfax High School for organic breakfast and fresh Kombucha while listening to live music in the courtyard and then look around and find hidden treasures and unique original art, jewelry and furniture at the flea market. From there we would walk over to the Cat Cafe on Melrose, relax, pet and play with cute cats, drink a latte and eat a cookie from the nearby bakery. Then head to Descanso Gardens in La Canada for a beautiful stroll. For dinner we would head to C.F. Food Kitchen in Northridge for a delicious meal.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank the mentors that believed in me when I was growing up. Those adults that went over and beyond to show they cared and saw something great in me. Teachers can truly ignite a spark, that becomes a flame and burns brightly forever.
Marjorie Salvaterra, Gingersole Photography, Anacia Weiskittel