Local dance teacher to join LSPA

Published 9:55 am Sunday, April 2, 2017

Techniques Dance Studio students will join LSPA at the end of the spring dance season after owner Beth Knight moves there to be an instructor. Submitted photo

New season for dance school, new instructors, classes offered


By Jennifer Shrader



Beth Knight is about to close the door on one chapter and open a new one just a block away.


The owner of Techniques Dance Studio for the last 16 years, Knight is closing her studio and will become an instructor at Lafayette Society of Performing Arts.


“I’m ready to get back to just teaching,” Knight said. She told her students about the change Thursday night. Many are expected to follow her to LSPA.


“They’re all excited, and they had about a million questions,” she said.


Knight said she’d been thinking about making a change for the last couple years, and joining LSPA will allow her to just teach, rather than teach and run a business. She will be the LSPA competition dance director and take teams to dance competitions, as she has done at techniques. She’ll also offer different styles of dance to what LSPA has traditionally been offering.


Amy Orr, director of the Lafayette Ballet Company, welcomes the new addition.
“Dance is universal,” she said. “I see nothing but better things ahead.”


A good dancer, properly trained, should be able to go and fit into any studio environment, but the LSPA dancers will be sensitive to their new classmates, since for many, Techniques is the only studio they’ve ever known, she said.


Being a small town may help, though.


“They go to school together. They see each other in church,” she said.


Orr also looks forward to offering more styles of dance with Knight, like jazz, tap and acrobatics.


LSPA also will begin offering Irish dance lessons, locally, with Amanda Poole.


Opelika’s Celtic Traditions School of Irish Dance, directed by Amanda Poole, has been featured in local celebrations and, due to increasing interest, has opened classes in our area. Poole is also no stranger to providing students with excellence in curriculum and opportunities for success. She is fully accredited through An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha (CLRG) in Dublin and has students with World Championship status, most recently representing the Southern U.S. at the 2016 World Irish Dancing Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.


Following the addition of the Lafayette Theatre Academy and Young Singers of West Georgia last year, LSPA’s Executive Director Kerri Vice says “many of LSPA’s students are involved in more than one area of performing arts and share multiple passions for theatre, music, and dance. In order to better serve all of our students and continue promoting arts education, we are listening to the suggestions we receive for change and are seeking ways to strengthen our arts community. While continuing outreach programs and increasing our class offerings, we have been amazed by the positive responses received and are so grateful for Beth Knight and Amanda Poole’s desire to help us achieve this goal for all of our dancers.”


Beginning this summer, the dance opportunities provided by LSPA, previously known as the Lafayette Dance Academy, will now become a part of the Lafayette Center for Dance, in the LSPA on Bull Street.


The Lafayette Center for Dance will offer a broad range of classes through professional instruction, in studios designed to help dancers maintain their strength and endurance. Early registration for students currently enrolled at the Lafayette Dance Academy, Techniques School of Dance, and Celtic Traditions will begin on April 10th at LSPA, following Spring Break. The LSPA offices, located at 210 and 214 Bull St., will extend their hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the 10th to 13th, so that dancers new to the LSPA dance facilities will have an opportunity to meet students and teachers, as well as tour the building. Early registration will also be open for the Lafayette Theatre Academy and Young Singers of West Georgia at that time.