Carrie Rengers

Dance, twirling studios to move to Art Park

Kate Pepper and Charles Baughman are the developers behind the Art Park, which soon will be welcoming the Dream Big Dance Studio and A Twirling Academy. (Aug. 25, 2014)
Kate Pepper and Charles Baughman are the developers behind the Art Park, which soon will be welcoming the Dream Big Dance Studio and A Twirling Academy. (Aug. 25, 2014) Eagle file photo

A couple of businesses that have been using space at the Morningstar Community Church at Kellogg and Greenwich are going to expand to the Art Park on East 29th Street between Woodlawn and Rock Road.

April Smith’s Dream Big Dance Studio and Tammy Johnson’s Andover Twirling Academy are both moving there in the next couple of months.

The Art Park’s Kate Pepper says the businesses complement each other well and that there’s potential to grow with camps for visual and performing arts.

“The Art Park is amazing,” Smith says. “I had never been there before, and I have three kids of my own.”

She heard about the complex, which has a collection of businesses that focus on children, from Johnson.

“She told me I needed to go check out this new building … and it was perfect.”

Her 4-year-old business has only one studio in its current space. It will have three in the Art Park, which Smith says is especially helpful given how some schools are getting out later now, which leaves limited time for evening classes.

“In my eyes, we’re tripling our business.”

Smith teaches everyone from 2-year-olds to adults. She offers jazz, tap, hip-hop, ballet, tumbling and music theater. There are recreational classes and competitive ones.

Johnson and Pepper are friends, and Johnson says Pepper has been trying to get her to move there for years.

Her 8-year-old business will be known as A Twirling Academy when it moves in April.

Smith is moving over spring break in late March.

Johnson says the big draw for her was the Art Park’s high ceilings.

“That’s the main thing that we’re always looking for.”

She says her twirlers are getting advanced and need lots of space to throw their batons.

Johnson says she really likes the environment at the Art Park with so many kid-centered businesses in one place.

“It feels so inclusive. You have so many different options for kids to come in,” she says. “It just makes sense.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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