Four-year-old Andrea Drobish loves hip hop dancing, while Claire Corby, also four, prefers the clicking of tap shoes on the dance floor.
Five-year-old Elizabeth Russick, however, enjoys ballet the most.
“I like when we go across the floor on our tippy toes,” she said.
All three agreed that dancing in general is simply fun.
Each young dancer got a taste of different dance styles on Monday and Tuesday through “Dance! Dance! Dance!” at the Dietrich Theater.
The Dietrich offers this free camp for girls and boys ages 2-9 each summer in conjunction with Stage Door Dance Studio in Tunkhannock.
“Many of these children never danced before or would not have the opportunity to do so,” said Stage Door Dance Studio owner Judy Weist. “We do this every year because a lot of kids don’t have the opportunity to try dance. It gives them some idea of what it’s like.”
“We like doing things for the community and the kids in the community,” she added.
Over two days, children explored the art of dance in sessions divided by age: 2-3, 4-6 and 7-9.
During the sessions, instructors guided students as they danced solo and as a group.
At Stage Door, there’s a belief in starting dancers out at a young age, but students aren’t necessarily limited to their age group.
“We don’t just go by age, we go by the ability,” said Weist, who noted that certain dancers got bumped up with older kids at the camp.
Just a few of the dancers enrolled in this summer’s camp were already Stage Door students.
“I might have a few that are already students of mine, but the majority of them are new little ones that come,” she said.
Oftentimes, students who attended the camp go on to pursue additional lessons in the dance style or styles they most enjoyed.
Stage Door offers both recreational, company and competition levels for children who want to continue honing their dance skills.
“Dance is everywhere on TV, showing all ages of talented dancers and now so many kids want to dance,” said Sara Grigalunas, the studio’s competition/company choreographer. “We understand that not everyone will have the desire or commitment to achieve three pirouettes, let alone five, or pick their leg up over their head and hold it there with perfect technique, but if the desire and ability is there, we teach it.”
Outside of learning how to dance, Weist pointed out that students in the camp learn structure as well.
“Our studio has a lot of structure and they start learning that at the very beginning when they come to these classes,” she said.
Additionally, students become acquainted with a lifelong activity.
“It gives them a lot of confidence, which goes into everything else they do,” she said. “They end up doing really well in school, they end up being able to speak in front of people because they’re performing in front of people and they learn all that when they’re young. They also learn responsibility and working together too.”