When was Adrenaline All Stars established?
Adrenaline was established in 2003 as an after school program for elementary school kids. Since then it has progressed to be one of the largest after school companies in Northern Virginia, a studio, and one of the largest All Star competitive programs in the country.
What is Adrenaline’s philosophy?
At Adrenaline we believe ALL kids can learn. We are invested in the overall growth of the kids. Teaching them confidence, showmanship, and physical skills that will help them become successful performers. We teach them how to be coachable and successful. We also believe kids are most successful in their appropriate age groups – we don’t try to age them up in their competitive groups. We teach them appropriate levels of dance at their skill and age group.
When did you know dance was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
I was a high school teacher and department chair for 10 years before leaving that career to pursue my career in dance. I have 2 masters’ degrees in education; special education and school administration. Upon being offered a job in administration, I turned it down because I would have had to give up coaching. It was then that I knew my passion was in dance and teaching and I began to create my new career path with the establishment of the Adrenaline brand in 2003.
What obstacles did you face when studying dance and or starting your business?
I started my company with no prior business degree, therefore I had to do a lot of research and reading to be able to effectively launch my career. I created and molded the company into what it is today. I started the business as an after school program and refined it into a multifaceted business. I worked in the field while developing my brand so my studio launch was successful.
How did you rise above those obstacles?
Whenever obstacles arise, I remember it is all for the kids. Hearing from families how dance has changed their lives for the better makes any obstacle a minor issue.
One of the greatest compliments we have ever received is from one of our parents who came to us a year ago. Her husband had passed away from cancer 6 months before joining our studio with her daughter and son. Her son has been really struggling with the loss. After an amazing year of him dancing on two teams and making it all the way to summit, his mom posted on Facebook a public thank you to our studio and coaches saying Adrenaline had given her her son back. He had been struggling with anger and depression over his father’s passing and it wasn’t until he found a love for dance that he came out of his state and began to enjoy life again. This was one of THE most rewarding moments of my career and solidifies exactly why we coach kids.
What is the most common obstacle your students face?
Confidence! Dancers have a difficult time putting themselves out in front and feeling like they are fearless, confident, and hitting all the right moves and selling the routine with showmanship.
How do you teach them to rise above that obstacle?
We catch them being good and praise that aspect so others start to catch on and work for praise when they do their best or are exceptional. As well, we have them watch each other in groups and give feedback and positives. We also try to recognize good additions from individuals at the end in our group huddle before we leave for the day.
Your teams always have so much energy on stage. Is this something you emphasize?
We put emphasis on showmanship in the routines to help them appear energized and carry their dance through to the end. We also work on vocals inside the routine to keep them in sync and to motivate them to stay together as a family through to the end. That camaraderie keeps them energized.
What is your favorite style and move?
We have so many favorite moves! We have a few signature moves we use in hip hop and in jazz that defines our program. We love our contemporary jazz style, and we love to watch our hip hop dancers actually do choreography rather than just memorizing moves. We believe the dancers should train and be REAL dancers, not just competition dancers – we encourage our dancers to go to conventions, stay with what is current, and host master classes at our studio.