Oak Ridge LGBTQ Inclusive Dance School Opens


Oak Ridge TN

Beau Knowles Knox LGBT Businesses

July 2, 2022

Amanda Martin is preparing for the first attendees of her "Dance Summer Camp" which will have its temporary home at the Historic Grove Theater in Oak Ridge TN. The 33-year-old Instructor /Choreographer and mother of 3 returned to the Oak Ridge area in 2019 to blend her love of dance and kindness into the creation of an inclusive dance school. Mrs. Martin stated, "the top two reasons of starting this inclusive dance school was for my family & a former student in the lbgtq+/trans community."

Amanda excitedly explains, "Dance classes are expensive, I could hardly afford them for my 3 children, I can't imagine how hard it is for other parents." She continues "My goal for Beyond the Barre Dance Collective, is to remain affordable & allow for flexibility amongst the "average family". "I want to eliminate any barriers that would normally stop today's youth from taking & excelling in dance." The dance school will offer programs for 18 months through adulthood.

BTBDC has found a 3500 square foot studio space off Oak Ridge Turnpike. The owner of the building is remodeling the location to an open floor plan to accommodate the needs of the Dance Collective. However, funding for the lease deposit has become a problem. Amanda stated "I've contacted every bank. We have been told we are a risk because we are a startup. I'm a mom with no current job history." She continues "We have a GoFundMe, but it hasn't gotten much interest. I'm so frustrated!" (LINKS for GoFundMe Elevating our Youth through DANCE & Facebook Fundraiser in comments)

Amanda handed me her business card. She said "This business card is old. I was going to go solo, open a studio with myself and my husband as instructors but then other dancers wanted to come on board to teach. We went from "Martin and Me" to a dance instructor collaboration of "Beyond the Barre Dance Collective LLC". "Even now our organization is growing, I have an interview with a potential license behavioral therapist who also is a dancer/teacher. We also have room on our board for passionate community members that would like to contribute to our efforts."

BTBDC Instructors are Amanda Martin- classical ballet, Vaganova ballet, Acro, tumbling, jazz, tap, contemporary, modern, tai chi

Alex Black -classical ballet, Vaganova ballet, contemporary, modern, lyrical, jazz, dance team, burlesque, tumbling, tap and barre fitness

Josh Martin- tumbling, ninja fitness, yoga and injury prevention

Brittany Galuski- ballet, tap, jazz and special needs program director

Karena Potter- former ballet boarding school manager, ballet jazz and English country dance

Ryanne Conlon-ballet, jazz, jazz dance fitness, musical theater, tap, hip hop, liturgical dance, and step

Learn more about the Beyond the Barre Dance Collective LLC in the comments below. I will include contact information. ~Beau Knowles

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