The town of Hamden is the home of many places that attract the younger generation. It is housed with bars, restaurants, clubs, and shopping centers.
But, Hamden also holds other places where people can enjoy themselves and one of these places includes Joni’s Dance Center.
Many Quinnipiac students come to the Dance Center because, unlike the Dance Company, people do not have to perform infront of others in order to participate.
Joni Christensen opened her dance studio in the volunteer Fire Department building about 17-years-ago.
She has been dancing since she was four-years old and has grown a passion for dance, which has developed into a bright career.
She enables her students to be creative and energetic with their dancing.
“I give them the steps and show them how to execute them, but only they can bring them to life,” said Christensen.
The dance center is responsible for giving people a sense of confidence to perform in front of a large group of people, which will help them in the future.
Christiansen believes that competition will drown out the fun in dancing. By adding competition into the equation, means adding longer hours, and less time to do fun activities.
“I want me students to dance because they love it, not because they feel that they have to,” said Christensen.
The dance center offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, point, hip-hop, acrobatics, and theatre.
“We offer many different kinds of dance, originally we focused on theatre, but have progressed with the times,” said Christensen.
People that attend the Dance Center range in age from two-year-old children to grown adults.
“I love to work with all groups of people because there is progression in each one,” said Christensen, “It is so fun to watch the light bulb go off in each students head when they finally get it.”
Along with guiding students through difficult dance moves, Christensen and her staff also try to guide her dancers to be healthy and happy with themselves.
“We are always telling our students to make sure they are giving their bodies enough fuel and eating correctly,” said Christensen.
She feels this advice is important for young people who are continually feeling the pressure of the world around them.
With over 130 students, most of which are involved with multiple disciplines, the dance center remains open six days a week to provide students with ample time to practice.
Christensen is in the studio each hour that the center is open.
She believes dancing will help students with their life.
“Dancing has helped me through many things in my life,” said Christensen. And she believes dancing will help students with their life.