The second link in the newest “chain” in Orange County has arrived. Saturday was the grand opening of the Rose Thayer Academy of Dance, Gymnastics, Cheer and Aerobics in Orangefield.

Registrations were taken while guests ate hot dogs and snow cones. There was also a moonwalk and slide for the kids to play on.

The dance studio on Farm Road 105 is near the high school, next to Paul Cormier’s oilfield museum in the building that once housed the Tulip Box and Safari Tans.

Classes start Aug. 18, designed to teach ballet, tap, jazz, clogging, gymnastics, cheer and motor skills, etc.

For the boys, a class on agility skills. This class teaches stretching and flexibility to help avoid injuries and improve their sports skills. “It’s not to be a gym star. They don’t have to be in recital,” Thayer stressed. The classes run six weeks or more and can be tailored to a coaches needs. “The classes are to prepare them for their future sports careers,” she said.

The academy has nine teachers, with most of them certified by Dance Educators of America. Thayer also has a degree from the University of Houston and Jill Standrich’s degree is from Texas State.

All employees are CPR certified and required to take continuing education classes.

The other instructors along with their specialty are: Thayer’s daughter Christi Kovatch, baby ballet, competition dance team and aerobics; Tara Greenwood,  baby ballet, boy’s gymnastics, clogging and jazz; Melissa Sawyers, Pilates, gym and cheer: Crissa Bonnin, drill team preparation; Ashton Dyer, motor skills and gymnastics; Shea Brown, clogging; and Robyn Massa, cheer and gym.
In the fall, several six-week courses are planned including: pageantry preparation and possibly modeling, ballroom dancing, aerobics, pilates and cheerleading.

The business also carries the dance wear and shoes needed for the classes so you don’t have to travel to Jefferson County to purchase necessities. “We’re a one stop shop,” said Kovatch. “If we don’t have it, we can get it.”

Snacks and drinks will be available for the students to purchase when they come to class after school.

Buses will drop the kids off at the studio for after school classes. 

The studio will also be available for birthday parties and events.

“Since we are now part of the community,” said Thayer. “We will help whenever there is a need.” The academy  parking lot is available for car washes or the studio for lock-ins, students and faculty can perform if needed. “We always want to give back to the community,” she said.

A dance studio in Orangefield several years ago did quite well, but closed after a year citing “personal reasons.”

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.