Kicking off their 10th season in the fall of 2016, Prodigy Dance and Performing Arts Centre is a studio with recreational dance classes for kids and adults, boys and girls. They also offer more intense classes and companies, for those dancers across DFW who want to make a career of dance.
The new 11,000 square foot studio features six dance rooms, three of which are the sizes of a real stage. Owner and Director Camille Billelo-Gross says she wants the entire community to be able to experience dance, affordably and in any style.
"At Prodigy, our goal is to enrich the community by sharing our love of dance with hundreds of children and adults each year," Billelo-Gross says. "Many dance studios value profit over everything else and stuff their classes to their maximum capacity. At Prodigy, we care about the kids and seeing them progress."
Students can take classes in tap, ballet, hip-hop, jazz, tumbling, contemporary dance, lyrical dance, flexibility and ballroom dance. Billelo-Gross says Prodigy intentionally creates smaller class sizes for the students in the kids recreational program so that students can work closely with instructors and learn the best technique.
Billelo-Gross says the most popular classes are the combo courses. These classes combine different styles of dance, including tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop and tumbling in one to two hours. The benefit of the combination class, especially for those new to dance, is students are given an introduction to multiple styles. The older students, however, typically like the teen contemporary, jazz and ballet classes. Billelo-Gross says these classes are great for students who want a more intense experience without committing to a dance company.
Prodigy also offers boys classes, which Billelo-Gross says is actually the third most popular type of class at the studio. There's a boys hip-hop class and a special boys company that currently has 14 boys between the ages of five and nine.
This year, Prodigy has a new recreational director, Kari Watson, who was previously the drill team director for the Plano West Royales for ten years. Billelo-Gross is also an instructor at the studio and she is responsible for training the dancers who are dedicated to dancing professionally. The performing arts center also brings in guest teachers and choreographers. Coming up, Travis Wall, an award-winning dancer and choreographer featured on So You Think You Can Dance.
As far as costs, Billelo-Gross says she tries to keep fees reasonable so no parent has to deny their kid an opportunity to dance. For recreational lessons, one hour a week for a whole month costs $70. The only other fees throughout the year include a dance recital fee and the price of a costume.