Studio 100 Dance and Fitness has opened in Waitsfield, upstairs over the Valley Players Theater. The studio is offering adult fitness classes as well as dance classes for preschool through 12th-grade students taught by Alyssa Dybala.
A long-term dancer and fitness instructor herself, when Dybala moved to Fayston from Steamboat, Colorado, a year ago, she noticed the empty dance studio at the Valley Players Theater.
“I wasn’t sure, being new to The Valley, why there weren’t fitness studios. After talking to friends and folks around town, it seemed that there was a need,” she said.
She reached out and found the studio to be in almost turnkey condition.
“It was serendipitous to find a dance studio ready to go. It’s beautiful, it’s like being in a treehouse,” she said.
The studio is in a bright, well-lit room on the second floor of the theater with enormous windows and a full mirrored wall as well as a suspended wooden floor. Colorful exercise equipment and mats brighten one corner and her son Odin, 7, lounged on the floor in the morning sunlight streaming in the windows this week. Her daughter Mila, 4, was willing to pose for a picture with her mother.
A very long, tall set of stairs leads to a landing where a doorbell is marked ‘please do not ring bell.’ It was hard to resist. The space features the studio, a vestibule, and a changing area for leaving shoes and coats. There’s a second studio space behind the first that is currently being used for storage but could function as a second studio, Dybala said.
A Rhode Island native, Dybala has been dancing since she was 5 and teaching for over 15 years. She is trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary and is a certified barre instructor. She was a member of the Jasper Ballet Company, a soloist in the Southern Rhode Island Youth Ballet Company and performed in “The Nutcracker” on Broadway.
Dybala started teaching dance classes in college and when she and husband moved to Colorado, she started teaching barre classes and continued teaching dance classes. She was educated as a chemist, but found that once she had kids, she wanted more flexibility and switched gears to dancing.
When her family first landed in Vermont, she found a job at the Harwood Unified Union School District as an administrator, noting that it suited her as a detail-oriented person. That job ended on June 30 with the school year as she made plans to take the plunge and make her fitness studio her full-time job.
“To know if this would truly work, I needed to dive in head first,” she said.
“This opportunity was too good, and I couldn’t ignore it any longer,” she added. Since a soft opening on July 1, she’s been offering summer camps for kids featuring dance instruction and crafts. This week she opened registration for fall classes, including adult fitness and dance.
She prefers that people register for the adult fitness classes but does accept walk-ins. Class sizes for adult fitness are limited to 15 people, 10 sign-ups and five walk-ins.
For details and more visit www. Studio100vt.com