Dance academy

Working in Clark County: Heidi Mason, Cottage Dance Academy

Physical education, math and history aren’t the only classes resuming for the fall. At Cottage Dance Academy, the upcoming school year has dance students of all ages jumping and bouncing for joy.

Heidi Mason is the owner of the newly renamed Cottage Dance Academy, located at 404 E. Evergreen Blvd., on the grounds of Providence Academy in downtown Vancouver.

Longtime residents of Vancouver may remember the studio as Liz Borromeo Dance. Mason’s daughters had been dancers under Borromeo’s tutelage for many years when Borromeo decided to close the studio and leave the area.

Mason knew she couldn’t let a good thing end. So, after Liz Borromeo Dance left, the Cottage Dance Academy moved in.

Entering the field of dance studio management proved to be a whole new world for Mason, as she had no professional dance experience before starting the academy earlier this year. However, she had 16 years of experience as a mother to young dancers and had developed a strong sense of what she liked and disliked about her family’s experiences at previous studios.

WORKING IN CLARK COUNTY

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“It’s very important to me that all of our dancers feel welcomed and included,” Mason said. “I want dancing to be a positive experience for them. There is so much joy to be found in this art form.

Ballet and other forms of classical dance are steeped in tradition. An unfortunate side effect of these traditions are rigid expectations of what a dancer should look like. Historically, these expectations have deterred many would-be dancers from pursuing the art simply because their bodies did not fit the mold of the traditional ballerina.

“At Cottage Dance Academy, we believe that anyone who wants to dance can and should,” Mason explained. “We believe that students don’t have to be a certain look or a certain body type to dance well. Dance is an experience meant to be shared, so we open our doors to anyone who wants to share in the joy.

Mason and his team of instructors create this culture of positivity and inclusion through their unique curriculum and approach to teaching.

Instead of rigid schedules and prerequisites, Cottage Dance Academy offers flexible options allowing dancers to take classes at their own pace while learning the skills and techniques they would acquire in more pre-professional or competitive studios. traditional.

Cottage Dance Academy offers classes for adults and children as young as 3 years old and offers instruction for every skill level, from beginners to veterans.

Mason is thrilled to share the art that has been so near and dear to her family. What started as an unknown new challenge has become a passion, a passion that Mason hopes will continue to grow.

“I feel like Clark County is really having a push for the arts right now,” Mason said. “People are hungry for it. Our world needs the arts more than ever. It’s something that brings people together and allows us to escape to a beautiful place.

For those wishing to enroll their children or take a class for themselves, Cottage Dance Academy will be hosting an open day on August 27th. More details can be found at www.cottagedanceacademy.com.