About Town: Dreams realized by new Pizazz owner

  • Rhylie Vautour, 5, and her sister Olivia Vautour, 3, dance in the Pizazz Dance Studio. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • New Owner of Pizazz Dance Studio Caitlin Miner with Rhylie Vautour, 5, and her sister Olivia Vautour, 3. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Published: 8/28/2016 10:47:25 PM

GREENFIELD — Ever since she was a little girl, Caitlin Miner has dreamed of owning her own dance studio.

Recently, that dream came true when Miner bought Pizazz Dance Studio on Pierce Street, where she had danced and worked with previous owner Beth Foley for more than 20 years.

“She’s always been my role model, she’s been like a mom to me,” Miner said. “When she gave me the opportunity, I was overwhelmed.”

Over the past month, Miner has made some small changes to the studio, including painting the waiting room and adding a kid-friendly play area, but said her biggest goal is to create a safe place where students can build confidence and work to overcome the challenges they face in their daily lives.

“Everybody’s home is different,” she said. “I just want this to be a safe place where they can come and build confidence, dance out their problems and just love dance.”

Miner said growing up, the studio was always that safe space for her. If she was having a bad day, it didn’t matter once she stepped through the door to the dance floor.

She said another priority is making her studio an inclusive, welcoming environment.

As a preschool teacher and through previous work in the school systems, Miner has had the opportunity to work with all sorts of children, including those with special needs, and said everyone is welcome at Pizazz. She’s also added a class for toddlers ages 2 and up, as well as boys’ hip hop, adult tap and musical theater classes.

Miner said Foley decided to sell the business after her son graduated high school, and taking it over was a natural next step.

“It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do and working with Beth, she’s always taught me the ins and outs of the dance studio — the paperwork, the measuring of the costumes, how to order — and I’ve always been her right-hand man,” Miner said. “I’ve just grown to love it, and it was something that came naturally to me. It was stressful, but it was fun and because she was a great teacher and a role model, it was just something that I’ve always wanted to do.”

Since taking the reins this summer, Miner has run several programs, including a new “dress up and dance” class for 3 to 5-year-olds.

“I had this big box of tutus and old costumes and hair pieces and hats and socks, and they just put them on and we danced around and learned some steps here and there. It’s just like a big dance party,” she said. “It was absolutely wonderful.”

She’s also hoping to hold a “Daddy and Me” dance over winter break, as well as a week in October when students can bring a friend to class. Since taking over as owner — and with input from the older students — Miner changed the studio’s colors from red to black, white and teal. 

“I feel like I wanted to do a fresh start, a new beginning of Pizazz, and I wanted to brighten it up,” she said.

The studio offers ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theater, modern and contemporary classes, which start Sept. 10. Miner said she’s hoping to add yoga in the near future.

Find Pizazz on Facebook, or at: pizazzdance.com

You can reach Aviva Luttrell at: aluttrell@recorder.com
or: 413-772-0261, ext. 268
On Twitter: @AvivaLuttrell


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