Dexter’s Dancers Edge Performs at Disney World
With a small town like Dexter that hosts many families, and sees many other nearby residents passing through, local businesses, artists, and creators are a vital aspect to the community. One of these being, Dancers Edge dance studio, at 3115 Broad St. in Dexter. The studio offers a variety of dance classes to all ages, and styles of dance technique that include Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Musical Theater and more. Established in 2003, the studio has 9 dance rooms, with an average class size of 7 to 8 students. Dancers Edge is well known for their highly applied choreography, and skill sets that help students achieve not only more physical stamina, but also deliver students teamwork and leadership experiences. “We provide a well-rounded education for dancers,” said Valerie Stead Potsos, Owner/Director of Dancers Edge.
In previous years the studio gained top 10 in “Studios on The Move,” which was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine. More recently in February 2023, groups of dancers from the studio attended the Universal Dance Association national’s competition, and gave a performance at Disney Imagination Campus at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida. The hashtag #dancingindisney, is seen on many studios’ social media pages with excited businesses and families from all over the world. Dancers Edge traveled to participate, rehearse, and perform after many hours of preparation and training. The All-Star competition saw 365 teams throughout the country, and 33 states attended the event at the 40th anniversary championships, held at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Center. Dancers Edge competed in the UDA All-Star category, and placed 3rd in pom, and 5th in hip hop in the nation. “Many schools in Washtenaw County don't have an actual dance team,” said Potsos, “The all-star program is a program that allows those dancers to have the same proportion for dance teams, they were up against teams that are well established.”
The Dancers Edge All-Star group consists of students in 8th grade to 12th grade, and come from Milan, Saline, Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, and Jackson. The talented champions performed for Disney on February 3rd, and 4th 2023, “We believe in finding the hidden talent and potential in every student,” states Potsos. All-Star finalists tend to work hard and can expect 23 hours of practice a week. The team of 17 were all able to participate in the show, “They practice, practice, practice,” said Potsos. Getting to nationals can be a dance of its own for these eager and determined dancers. The studio holds auditions for upcoming competitions, and carefully selects talent as placement is critical to routines.
On the 2nd weekend in February another group of 40 students took part in a workshop at the Disney Imagination Campus, where dancers were able to learn Disney choreography and curriculum from Disney performers. “It was an awesome experience,” said Wendy Bussard-Charles, mom of dancers Grace 9, and Ella 6. “DE staff were encouraging them every step of the way,” she said, “They both loved it and had so much fun.” Wendy Bussard-Charles has been taking her daughters to Dancers Edge since 2016 and was referred based on high recommendations. Both girls started in recreational classes, and eventually went into competition seasons, 2019-2020 for Grace, and 2022-2023 for Ella. Both performed at Disney Imagination Campus this year in front of a full crowd, alongside their classmates. “It was a proud parent moment to see the dancers' hard work culminate on the stage, the atmosphere was supportive, upbeat and fun,” said Bussard-Charles, “Being at Disney watching a performance is so magical.” Disney uses copyrighted music for practice and incorporates individual studio music during the 5-hour rehearsal, after, each group gets 25 minutes on stage. The youngest of the DE Imagination group is 5, and the oldest 15, “They had such a good vibe all week” said Potsos, “They took it very seriously.”
It’s clear that Dancers Edge has accomplished many milestones, with dedicated staff and students.
“The DE coaches and staff put their heart and soul into developing and encouraging these dancers on an individual basis, " said Bussard-Charles, “They instill a love of dance in a positive and fun environment.”
The next big performance for the studio will be The State of Michigan Competition held at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, on Sunday March 12th, 2023. Potential students and families can see more on the website about classes, competition teams and events. More pictures, cheerful moments, and performances from Disney can be seen on the Dancers Edge Facebook and Instagram pages.