Glenna Phelps-Aurich, Executive Director of the Logan County Chamber of Commerce presented the Business of the Week honor to Melissa’s School of Dance owner Melissa Craddock and dance instructors Madi Amen and Dillon Morton, and tumbling teachers Corde Gertner and Brook Cook.Cook.
…Melissa Craddock, owner of Melissa's School of Dance has been in business over 40 years. She has built a relationship with her community that she loves and is proud of.
…Being raised by a father in the Navy meant her family moved a lot. Traveling gave her the wonderful opportunity to take lessons from famous teachers from all over. These opportunities gave her the unique ability to develop her own style of dance and in turn, be a creative choreographer.
…Melissa continues to dance in California and New York in the summers. Being well trained in all styles of dance from a lot of different teachers is what makes her school unique and sets it apart from others. This helps them to help their students to feel comfortable finding the freedom to develop their own style of dance.
…Her family moved to Sterling when Melissa was 15 where she started taking lessons at Pam's. At 17 Melissa started teaching for Pam and taught for 3 years.
…Then it happened. One summer in New York Melissa was offered a job dancing on Broadway. It was time to ask herself what she wanted in life - “I love to dance and perform.”
…This was a once in a lifetime opportunity but when she really thought about it, nothing could compare to the joy she felt when she was in the studio teaching. She kept thinking about all the kids in all the classes she had. The excitement on their faces as they moved to the music. They were dancing and having the time of their life. It warmed her heart and that's when Melissa knew exactly what she was going to do with the rest of her life. She opened Melissa's School of Dance and Gymnastics.
…During the first 2 years running her studio in Sterling. Melissa taught in Ft. Morgan for Clarice Tatton. This is where she got her gymnastics background. Clarice and Melissa went to various places to take coaching and spotting lessons. They studied with Bart Conner and his coaches for the boys US gymnastics team. They also studied with girls US Gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi.
… Melissa said she Is blessed to have had so many talented and knowledgeable, teachers and coaches in her life. Melissa has a competitive gymnastics team called Sterling Team Tumblers. They did competitions in the CARA program for 15 years, winning state all 15 years. They are a Christian dance studio. Her students are kind and encouraging to one another. The music she chooses is fun and upbeat and the costumes she chooses are modest.
…She offers tap, jazz, ballet, point, hip hop, and tumbling classes for boys and girls ages 3 and up. Sometimes they offer mommy and me classes for 2 year olds. They have an exceptional pre-school curriculum for 3 and 4 year olds. It's a safe, fun, loving, and positive environment that the students can learn to dance and express themselves while sharing their love of dance with each other.
…These little dancers are introduced to all the styles of dance. They also learn basic tumbling skills. Their 5 and up students are introduced to more technique depending on the style of dance they choose and their ability's. All while having a marvelous time. They have grown into a 9,000 sq. ft. building with 2 studios, and a 40X40 spring floor for their tumblers. Melissa’s School of Dance believes it is more than just a dance school, they are a dance family.
…Melissa has put together the Choreography for the Miss Northeastern Colorado Pageant for the two years they were here in Sterling. For three years in a row her studio was picked to be the only studio to represent the state of Colorado at the Dance Excellence festival in California and Governor Bill Owens sent a letter congratulating them with this honor.
…Her students have done competitions in California and Denver where the left with top trophies. They have danced at Disney and taken classes with her in New York. Melissa had the opportunity to study with the father of Jazz, Lougi, along with Patsy Swayze, (Patrick Swayze's mom,) and Keith Clifton. Keith came to Sterling to teach at the studio for a weekend. Some of her students went on to dance professionally at MGM and one became a Rockett at Radio City Music Hall. Her students love to share their love of dance and gymnastics with their community.
…Being a business owner, and alone can sometimes be challenging. Not only does she love her students, but she loves the parents as well. There have been so many times something has broken in the studio and one of her student’s moms would say something like “you can borrow my husband or my husband can fix that,” and they do. Her student’s dads move stages to and from the areas where performances are held, help with decorations, bring and set up tents, tand move mats and props to and from the school for their recitals and more.
…The moms are just as wonderful. They help each other out bringing and picking up kids. They spend hours fixing costumes and helping with props.
…“I know our studio would not be what it is today without the loving and dedicated parents I was so blessed with,” says Melissa.
…The school will have a dance recital June 15-16 at the Sterling Middle School at 7 p.m. It's free to the public so come see what they have to offer your children. They also have enrollment after the fair where you can sign up for classes online, but they like to meet their new students and parents in person before classes start. Coming to the studio gives them that opportunity and lets the kids get comfortable with the studio.
…For more information you can call the studio at 970-522-1706 - if no answer please leave a message.
…Melissa has a friend who says living in Sterling is like living in paradise,” and she agrees with him. This community has been so supportive to her and her business for more years than she wants to say. She loves living in a community that comes together to support one another.
…“I'm here to stay!” says Mellissa. If you are looking for a little entertainment for your organizations or luncheons, please give them a call.
Please Join Us In Congratulating
Melissa’s School of Dance
Our Business Of The Week