THIS BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT SHINES ON
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Main photo Jennifer Johns-Main (back row, centre) with the JJ Dance Performing Arts Studio instructors and assistants (back from left) Claire Quinlan, Bella Main, Lizzie Robinson, Melanie Ouderkirk-Carnduff, Allison Dalziel, Melissa Litrenta, Kayley Wright, Lauren Lane; (middle from left) Ella Ouderkirk, Brenna Smith, Kira Smith, Kaitlyn Wright, Emma McLellan; (front from left) Allie Peace, Katie Fernandez, Hollace Marks, Emma Harvey, and Briar Summers. Absent from photo: Will Main and Melanie Rodowa. (supplied)
Jennifer Johns-Main has been passionate about dance for almost her entire life.
The Huntsville native began dancing at the age of five, switching to competitive gymnastics from ages seven to 12 before returning to dance and acro.
Right after high school she was fortunate to land a job performing in the Deerhurst Resort Sing Show. Following a short break to travel in Japan for a year, “the lure of beautiful Huntsville and my home town, family and friends brought me back to continue performing until I was 34 years old,” she says. It was then that she decided to share her knowledge and love for singing, dance and gymnastics with a new generation of performers, and JJ Dance Performing Arts Studio was born.
JJ Dance began small, as most new ventures do, operating out of studio space in Motivations Fitness in 2009. “We were so grateful to the team at Motivations for helping us get started,” says Johns-Main.
After a year of growing popularity, Johns-Main, the studio’s artistic director, and her husband Will Main, who is the studio’s co-owner and music director, decided it was time to have their own space. The doors officially opened on their studio just off Centre Street North in March of 2010.
At first, the studio offered a recreational program to dancers twice a week with Johns-Main as the only instructor, aided by an assistant. As the studio’s members grew and grew, a competitive dance team was added, “a small but mighty team of 15 dancers,” says Johns-Main.
The studio now has a competitive team that is 36 members strong and a full schedule that offers dance classes Monday through Saturday in two studio spaces. A full faculty of qualified and dedicated instructors and assistants provides classes in jazz, hip hop, ballet, acro, tap, musical theatre, lyrical, and contemporary from pre-school age to adult. “We pride ourselves on having a strong recreational and competitive program,” says Johns-Main.
Last year, the studio moved to a new, spacious and beautiful facility located at 30 Howland Drive. Main and his father, Rob Main, built the studio space.
“Our studio has such a friendly vibe to it, very family-friendly atmosphere, music playing, and dancers working hard. I’m fortunate to be able to do this for a living,” says Johns-Main.
The studio is also home to Main Music, an extension of JJ Dance led by Main, that teaches guitar, bass and drum lessons to the next generation of talented youth. Main attended Humber College’s music program for a year and has travelled with many bands, as well as performed in the Deerhurst Show for 10 years.
JJ Dance Performing Arts Studio hopes to continue nurturing and training dancers and musicians for many years to come.
“All our instructors and myself are always working and improving our craft by taking courses and seminars which keeps us motivated and passionate,” says Johns-Main. “Cheers to 10 years in business.”
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