SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Dance Factory, one of the most renowned performing arts studios in the Capital District, is celebrating the grand opening of their new studio space in the Wilton Mall this month.
The Dance Factory held a ribbon cutting on Sept. 7 to formally celebrate the grand opening of their new studio after relocating inside the Wilton Mall to a larger space across from Bath & Body Works. The Dance Factory moved into the Wilton Mall in 2016, and the new studio is triple the size of their previous space at approximately 6,000 sq. ft. Classes will begin on Friday, Sept. 10.
The studio features two dance floors, a lounge for parents, a lounge for dancers, and a small boutique – “Tutu Perfect” – with leotards, dance dresses, and other dance accessories. Owner Dianne Sporko-Carola said that the space, formerly a Forever 21, is a perfect fit with the large windows for displays, ornamental shelving, and even chandeliers in the dressing rooms.
“This isn’t your typical dance studio,” said Sporko-Carola. “I wanted this place to be sparkly and magical.”
Sporko-Carola has done just that with her decorating, giving the studio a bright, positive atmosphere for dancers with personal mementos and motivational signs.
“Like one of my signs says, this is my happy place,” said Sporko-Carola. “I have spent my whole career doing this and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Sporko-Carola is in her 44th season of her career. The Dance Factory offers classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, hip-hop, tap-dancing, and more. The studio puts on performances at least twice yearly in June and at Christmas. They teach dancers as young as three-years-old to seniors in high school. But there is really no age limit, as Sporko-Carola has a group of tap-dancing mothers and grandmothers and even a group of fathers who have been taking lessons from her for five years now.
To this date, Sporko-Carola has seen up to three generations of dancers walk through the doors of her studio. Students who have graduated often come back to teach the younger ones and go on to have successful careers in dance, including her daughter Rachel who is a professional dancer.
“They learn a lot of life lessons here like time management, teamwork, commitment, and dedication,” said Sporko-Carola. “They make lifelong friends here and grow up with each other.”