By Morgan Bryce
Previously located in Auburn, The Pointe School of Dance has found a new home at 204 S. 8th St. in downtown Opelika, the former location of Studio 3:19.
Owned by Shelley Stansell, the studio offers classical dance education, with classes available in acrodance, contemporary pointe, modern, pointe and partnering as well as ballet taught through the Vaganova and Cecchitti curriculums.
“We’re different from most in this area because we’re performance and technique oriented as opposed to team and competition oriented. My program also tends to stay smaller because I like to know everybody,” Stansell said. “We’re very specialized, therefore our classes do not get extremely large.”
At 30 years old, Stansell began taking ballet courses in Ormond Beach, Florida. Considered by her instructors to be an “adult prodigy,” she eventually joined a local performance company and played several lead roles, under the tutelage of notable instructors from both Germany and Russia.
Later, Stansell and her family relocated to Knoxville and eventually to the Auburn-Opelika area in 2011, enjoying a smooth transition from performer to teacher.
Seeing an overall need for a dance school like Pointe locally, she opened the business in January 2013. Through word-of-mouth advertising, dancers from across Lee County and the Chattahoochee Valley enrolled in the studio, helping it outgrow its original space in Auburn.
During the last eight years, Stansell said she had been looking for an opportunity to open her own studio in Opelika, and is finally able to realize that dream.
“I have been wandering around in downtown Opelika for years, peeking into windows, dreaming of the potential a studio could have here. I love the area and I love the people,” Stansell said. “The camaraderie is unbelievable and the move here has been such a positive for us.”
Signups for classes are posted intermittently, based on scheduling and space. People of all age groups are welcomed, with special programs like “Mommy and Me” serving as a basic introduction of dance to toddlers who are able to stay with their mothers during instruction. Classes are taught throughout the week.
Stansell and her staff are preparing for their performance company’s rendition of the C.S. Lewis’s classic novel “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” March 30 at Telfair Peet Theatre on Auburn University’s campus.
For more information, call 334-740-5118, like and follow their Facebook page, or visit www.aupointe.com.