Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dancemakers teacher purchases studio by Elizabeth Richards

Dancemakers will soon have a new, but familiar, face at the helm. Nicole Getchell will close on the purchase of the studio in late June of 2013. 
Getchell, who lives in Standish, has been a teacher at the studio for two years, along with teaching at Portland Ballet. She has been performing with Portland Ballet since 1992 and teaching there since 1999. When she becomes the owner of Dancemakers, Getchell will leave her position at Portland Ballet to focus all of her energy on the Windham studio.  After 21 years, Getchell says leaving will be extremely hard. However, after years of family encouragement to open a studio of her own, she’s ready to take that step. “I look forward to a change, a challenge and a new phase in my life,” Getchell said. 

Getchell has a lot of excitement about her new endeavor. She is quick to say that she doesn’t plan to change Dancemakers from what it is. The studio offers a variety of dance styles, and will continue to do so. “I’m not going to make it a ballet studio,” she said. She does, however, want to offer better training in ballet to the students at Dancemakers, because she feels that ballet is the foundation for every form of dance. “I want to make them well-rounded dancers. We already have some extremely talented dancers,” she said.

While Getchell would like to expand at some point, she doesn’t expect that to happen in the first year. The studio, located in an old barn, is already an expansion over the original one-room dance studio that was located behind the post office. There are some challenges – such as wooden posts for dancers to navigate around - but there is a comfortable, homey feel to the space. It is the only dance studio in Windham, and Getchell said, “I will do whatever I can to stay in Windham.” She said if she moved the studio, the kids she’s come to love might not follow.

Dancemakers currently has approximately 130-150 students, and has focused primarily on classes for young people. She hopes to expand offerings for adults, such as having adult ballet, clogging and jazz, if there is sufficient interest in the community. Dancemakers has a very active competition team, Adrenaline, whose members work hard both on training and on fundraising in order to be able to attend competitions, which have taken them as far as Providence, RI this year. Dimitra Corsetti, who has been managing the studio, will remain on the teaching staff and closely involved with Adrenaline.

Getchell’s goals for the studio are heartfelt. She wants to be around the children more, and she wants the studio to feel like a family.  “I am very excited about the opportunity to have a new place I can call home, make new memories, and enjoy teaching the students an appreciation for what they are learning, all the while having a positive and fun experience,” she said.

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