CLAYMONT, Del. (CBS) – Throughout the month, we celebrated Black-Owned Businesses Month. Before the curtains close in August, you must take a trip to The First State. Vittoria Woodill, journalist at Eyewitness News, takes us to the “Dance4Life” dance studio. It is a dance company that raises the bar for its dancers when it comes to technique and life skills.
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine where life will take you until you find what you love. For Chauntee Andrews, getting into dance as a young girl was a step towards her goal.
“They call it ‘dance utopia.’ That’s what it is, “dance utopia. It’s a place where people can be who they are, be accepted as they are, love the way they choose to love and we accept that, and if you learn to dance, that’s a good thing,” Andrews said.
Fifteen years ago, she opened her own dance studio called “Dance4Life” in Claymont, Delaware. She offers classes in all forms of dance.
“The dance school I grew up in was phenomenal,” Andrews said. “I watched everything from the way the director spoke, to the way she interacted with the dancers, the parents, I watched how she presented herself on stage, and I just knew that was something that I wanted to continue.”
She opened doors for the next generation. With her guidance, these young black dancers have performed on incredibly big stages, like the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
But that’s what she teaches beyond the bar, she hopes, will stay with them forever.
“I always say 98% of my students won’t go to concert dancing, but 100% have to be successful in life so it’s a lot of life skills that are taught. Being on time, being prepared, the presentation is everything! Even the way they greet people, so I always wanted to instill that kind of stuff in the girls,” Andrews said.