DARIEN — To kick off the new year, Dance on the DL’s has new fitness and dance programs to offer.

In September, Dance on the DL opened their new studio, which will also be welcoming new instructors for their adult classes. In addition to the new programs, the new studio can be rented for birthday parties, corporate functions and more.

Dance on the DL has been in business for three years, focusing on hip hop classes for children. What started with 35 students and three classes has grown to 23 classes per week with over 300 students.

Doreen Godfrey, co-owner of Dance on the DL, said by the end of the the first year they went from having 35 students to 80.

“Before we knew it we had a long wait list of kids trying to get in,” Godfrey said. “We said OK you know what, we need a home.”

Godfrey met fellow co-owner Linda Cicero after attending one of Cicero’s classes at Equinox. The two immediately connected on their passion for dance. Cicero would then ask Godfrey to create some choreography together.

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To sign up for classes visit Dance on the DL’s website: https://www.danceonthedl.com/

“We ended up working really well together, which in creative environments can be really difficult” Godfrey said.

The business did various events throughout town, including the Groove-a-Thon for Tokeneke Elementary, and is connected to the community.

Godfrey said the focus at DL’s studio is not only teaching students how to dance, but also how lessons learned through dance can be carried over in other facets of life. Godfrey’s passion for dance stemmed from a young age.

“I became involved with dancing when I was three years old,” she said. “I went professional when I was 16.”

Cicero said she started dancing professionally as an adult. Growing up, she would watch PBS specials with her mother and be enamored by the dancers.

“I was just in love with how elegant the ladies looked and their beautiful dresses,” she said.

Dance on the DL’s kids program is exclusively geared towards hip-hop and even teaches breakdancing. The children’s program is offered in semesters, and the spring-summer semester will start in February.

For adults, they teach hip-hop dancing and offer fitness classes. One of the new adult classes now offered is called bodyART.

“It’s a combination of pilates and yoga mixed in with some martial arts movement and dance,” Cicero said.

New classes will still be connected to the hip-hop realm, but include subgenres like hip-hop fusion, street jazz and house music, she said.

In the adult program, they teach them comfortabilty with trying new things, Cicero said. “We try to instill in the adult program is that you don’t have to be perfect.”

The studio also looks to continue inspiring kids through dance. Each class in the children’s program starts with a theme around a person or dance group who had to face adversity. Students learn about them to understand how working hard can help them attain their dreams, Godfrey said.

“That’s the underlying message we give to our kids,” she said. “Anything is in your reach if you work hard for it.”

Correction; The article that ran on Jan. 4 had Linda Cicero saying “We try to instill in the adult program is that you don’t have to be important.” This was incorrect as Cicero said “perfect,” and not “important.” Godfrey’s statements on filling a void for kids to learn how to dance were also removed due to lack of context. Lastly the studio was opened in September.

dj.simmons@hearstmediact

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