Versa5 dance studio celebrates grand opening in Downers Grove
Versa5 boutique dance studio hosted a grand opening Nov. 9 to commemorate its new name, location and ownership.
The studio, formerly known as Blonn Dance Academie and The Dance Academie, has 33 years of history in the Village of Downers Grove.
“This pretty much means my whole life,” said Deanna Thompson, owner of Versa5.
Versa5’s new home is 6218 Main St. in Downers Grove. The studio previously operated on Fairview Avenue, Curtiss Street and Belmont Road.
At 4,800 square feet, Versa5 has more space to operate with than previous locations had.
“We have one studio primarily for adults that we run six classes a day for adults,” Thompson said. “The other two studios, those are just for youth classes we’re running in the afternoon back-to-back.”
Many studios in the area do not hold programming geared primarily for adults.
“This is part of the expansion,” Thompson said. “The only really big adult dance classes are in the city. So, we want to be a hub for the suburbs to provide these kind of dance classes.”
The studio has a history of training people who use their dance skills professionally.
“Being a previous student, I went and I worked for Disney professionally,” Thompson said. “I did that before I actually went to college, so I danced for Disney, and then I decided that I really need to go to school. So, I have a degree from Columbia.”
Thompson said seeing that people are putting their skills to use in the real world is always a positive.
A number of other dancers have received training through the studio over the years and went on to use their skills in other professions, such as physical therapy and teaching.
“We have a curriculum that we stick to,” Thompson said. “We also work with The American Academy of Ballet. We have their curriculum, and that’s just for our ballet program. We also have Discover Dance, which is our Tumbler Tots: toddler mommy and me classes. … We try to stay up with the market. [We] stick to curriculum because that’s how schools work, that’s how dance studios work.”
Thompson said the dance studio’s use of music is embraced by members of the community.
Typically, the studio utilizes songs that are family-friendly and popular to help children learn the techniques needed to perform.
“This is definitely my vision,” Thompson said. “I bought this… studio in May, and then construction started here in June, and this was definitely my vision and my husband’s vision putting this all together.”
Thompson said the studio’s future in the village looks bright.
“I think Downers Grove we have a lot that Downers Grove doesn’t offer, like barre classes and zumba and adult dance classes,” she said. “[Expansion plans,] it could be a possibility in the future, for sure.”