‘Dance is for everyone’ at Marion Art Center Dance Academy

Apr 19, 2023

MARION — According to Marion Art Center dance instructor Teah Keogh dance can — and should — be accessible to everyone.

Keogh, who has been dancing since she was two years old, knows that to become a great dancer you have to put in the work.

“I was in the studio six days a week, five hours a night,” said Keogh. “I couldn't play any school sports, I missed my senior trip, and it's very, very expensive.”

But with the Marion Art Center Dance Academy, Keogh aims to give everyone a chance to experience dance without the stress that can follow some dance instruction.

“I wanted to offer a program that was basically the exact opposite [of my own experience],” said Keogh. “Something accessible to everybody that wouldn't break the bank, that didn't have a big recital, that didn't ask you to commit hours and hours of your time every week.”

The Marion Art Center’s Dance Academy is a program that offers dance instruction to children from complete beginners who are still developing their fine and gross motor skills, to intermediate students who are learning the basics of classical dance.

According to Keogh, one of her best qualities is that she “is not afraid to fail.”

She tries to cultivate a low-stress environment where there is no pressure to perform on stage or take part in recitals.

“We're fun, we're goofy, I don't make any kid get up and do something in front of the whole class — it's very collaborative,” she said. “I want to make sure that they're comfortable and enjoying themselves. And they're still learning classical dance.”

In May, Keogh is branching out and offering a tap dancing workshop for adults as a part of the Marion Art Center’s Spring Arts Week.

“There are so many adults I meet who say ‘I wish I knew how to dance,’” said Keogh. “So I thought, ‘why don’t I teach them?’”

Working with the Marion Art Center, Keogh has gathered tap shoes of all sizes and is prepared to teach participants basic movements and techniques of tap dancing.

“I want to make it fun, engaging, and make them feel successful, and you know, I've been doing this for a really long time, I'm able to do that,” she said.