BEACHWOOD, Ohio (WJW) — When a husband and wife saw that untapped talent throughout Northeast Ohio was obviously there, but the chance for kids to showcase that talent, particularly for young black girls, was non-existent – it sparked an idea.
That’s when the nationally award winning Shaker Dance Academy in Beachwood was born.
Owners, Jon and Tracey Webb, fell in love years ago while dancing on the movie set with music legend Prince, but their passion for dancing is now inspiring the next generation.
“I looked at my husband and said, ‘Babe, we’ve got to open a dance academy for girls to show them the art of dance and show them who they are.'”
That was 20 years ago.
The studio provides diverse classes including jazz, ballet and hip hop, they’ve produced Broadway-worthy performances – a historical production of Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit.”
Many of its dancers, ranging in age from 3 to 18, have gone on to dance professionally on Broadway, movie sets and on tour with Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and even J.Lo.
The husband and wife team also teach classes to private and charter schools throughout Cleveland, providing everything children need “to make it in show business and just that but in life.”