Village Dance Studio holds a rich history
Screenwriter / Julie Yates
Photographer / Jon Ellegood
Village Dance Studio has many mother-daughter relationships. Founded by Annette Pettigrew in 1977, it is now owned by her daughter, Traci Broman. Several faculty members have mothers who also owned dance studios. Second and even third generation students come to take classes, as do their mothers.
Village Dance Studio was founded in 1977 by Pettigrew. She majored in ballet at Indiana University and took classes in major American cities as well as abroad. Throughout her affiliation with the studio, she continued her training as a ballet teacher. In addition to running the business and teaching, she shared her talents choreographing high school musicals and being a guest teacher within the Indianapolis community. Pettigrew sold the business to her daughter in 2017, but she continues to teach, run the ballet program, and help out whenever help is needed in any role.
“The first year the studio opened, there were 78 students,” says Broman. “My mother was the only teacher and there were two classes – ballet and creative dance with tumbling. Later, she added jazz and tap dancing. There was‘t e-mail. Everything had to be done over the phone. When I was growing up, at night I could never reach AOL because my mother needed the phone. When I was little, I remember watching through the glass while older girls were taking a class. I tried to make every move like them. My own daughter, Elizabeth Broman, is about to start taking classes. She is 3 years old and clean, so now she can.
Today, the studio has 400 students. Classes include point (ballet), hip-hop, modern dance, musical theater and more. Participants range from preschoolers to adults. Some students focus on learning techniques to be the best dancer they individually can be. Others come from musical theatre, show choir, ice skating, cheering and gymnastics, in order to learn skills to spruce up their performances.
In a competitive world, Village Dance Studio has always been something of a respite. It exists solely to give students a solid and broad foundation of dance principles. Without the pressure and expense of a competitive dance team, her students can focus on the joy of dancing while encouraging each other.
Each year, students perform for their families and the community, alternating between a showcase and a recital. Showcases are more casual and costumes are usually homemade, keeping costs down. Recitals are more involved, with multiple performances scheduled at different times and days. Showcases and recitals are held at Zionsville Community High School at the STAR Bank Performing Arts Center.
“Very few studios in the entire Indy area are not competitive,” Broman says. “We’ve never competed and we never will. It helps keep our environment warm and like family. The students’ families do a lot to support us, from props to costumes. Moms are show-dancing moms , not like on TV, but in the best way. We’re relaxed and kind and forgiving, and our families are like that too. I think the vibe is top-down.
The Village Dance Studio showcase will take place on Saturday, May 21.
Village Dance Studio is located at 6290 Central Boulevard in Whitestown. For more information, visit villagedancestudio.com or call 317-769-2223.