Lots of people have skills and education. Lots of people have dreams and passions that have nothing to do with their ‘day job.’ But some people are able to combine their skills and their passion together to make something remarkable happen.
Taylor Lucas, the owner of Wheeling’s newest dance studio, is one of those people.
During the day, Taylor cares for children at Augusta Levy Learning Center in Wheeling as a certified occupational therapy assistant and behavior technician. Working with kids in this capacity is something about which Taylor is very passionate. She loves the impact they have and the families they serve. Taylor is also a very accomplished dancer and has an entrepreneurial spirit.
Rysing Star Dance Academy was created to combine all of these skills and passions. Miss Lucas will soon become Mrs. Rysing, which is the origin of the dance studio’s name.
The Rysing Star Difference
Rysing Star Dance Academy offers a variety of options for dancers. The studio is comprised of three companies –that’s dance-speak for ‘groups’ – the performance company, the competition company, and the recreation company all offer different options.
Performance is just that – performing. The dancers in this group can showcase their talents at places like parades, fundraisers, and special events.
Competition is for dancers who are interested in competing with other dance companies from different cities. There are a handful of competitions every year that involves travel to cities outside of the Wheeling area.
The recreation track is for those students who want to take dance classes but are not necessarily interested in performing or competing. This is perfect for anyone who wants the benefits of dance, such as physical fitness, but may not have any desire for performing.
Taylor’s passion is apparent. “I have always wanted to have my own studio but thought it might never happen. I have big dreams and I am so excited to watch the future of RSDA unfold,” she stated.
Be A Star
One of the most unique and extraordinary things about Rysing Star is the Be A Star program. STAR is an acronym that stands for: sensory, therapeutic recreation, acrobatic, and rhythm.
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This is an integrative approach to dance that is ideal for students with Autism, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and more. Students of all abilities will thrive in the Be A Star program. Students who utilize wheelchairs or have hearing impairments also flourish here. With Taylor’s background, dancers are able to work on communication and social skills all the while having fun and learning to dance.
“Being in downtown Wheeling is a prime location. I love the history of the city and I am excited to be part of the growth of downtown,” stated Taylor. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to fulfill this dream and to take part in building our community.”
This is so much more than a school for dance. It is more than competitions and recitals. This is a place where students learn sportsmanship, athleticism, and performance. They become active in the community by performing at special events. Rysing Star is also a place where students of all abilities are welcomed and have a home. This is more than movement and dance. It is disrupting what others thought was possible in Wheeling and within themselves.
Rysing Star Dance Academy is located at 1000 Main Street in downtown Wheeling. This is at the corner of 10th and Main Streets across from the Captiol Theatre. For more information, visit their Facebook page: Rysing Star Dance Academy.
• Joelle Moray is an experienced professional with a proven track record in forging partnerships with public and private sectors. Moray has coached dozens of individuals on breaking barriers and living up to their fullest potential both professionally and personally. A West Liberty University graduate, she also holds a master’s degree from West Virginia University. Moray is also a graduate of Leadership Wheeling and Leadership West Virginia. She has been named a Young Gun, A Generation Next 40 Under 40, an Outstanding Young West Virginian and a West Virginia Wonder Woman.