Raise The Bar Because We’re Dancing On This One

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A Conversation with Melissa DeSantis and Danielle Forgione

Owners of Raise The Barre – Studio Of Dance


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Harford County Living presents Conversations with Rich Bennett, coming to you from the Freedom Federal Credit Union studios.

On this episode, Rich is joined by Melissa DeSantis and Danielle Forgione, Owners of Raise The Barre – Studio Of Dance.

From the Raise The Barre – Studio Of Dance website:

When their girls were two years old and attending the same pre-school, owners Danielle Forgione and Melissa Desantis were introduced to one another. Both Danielle and Melissa were born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, but they did not know each other until they moved their young children to the same neighborhood in Bel Air, Maryland. At the time, Melissa had put her professional life on hold so that she could focus on raising her three daughters, and Danielle was working as a dance instructor. The following year, both of their daughters enrolled in their very first dancing class together, and from that moment on, they were hopelessly hooked on the performing arts.

Through taking dance lessons and participating in contests over the course of the following few years, Rosalia and Tess developed a deeper connection to the art form of dance. In addition to their passion for dance, the friends they made via dance quickly became an essential part of their lives. The friends who encouraged each other to be the best they could be, showed love and acceptance to one another, shared a passion for dance with them, and put a smile on their face after a long day at school. They just had a constant want to be in one other’s company! Melissa and Danielle’s connection as mothers and dancing moms became stronger alongside the girls as they spent more and more time together.

The COVID outbreak started in March 2020, bringing an abrupt end to all of the girls’ laborious efforts that they had been putting in for almost a year. All events, including competitions and performances, as well as lessons, have been postponed. The costumes were stored in their bags within the closets, serving as visual cues for all of the work that remained to be done, as well as smiles and stage time. Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic, nobody was even sure whether or not their studio still existed. Where would these young ladies go to dance? Six years had passed, and the idea that they would no longer dance, either together or at all, was extremely upsetting to think about. There was more to it than merely dancing to them. They found joy, an escape, and valuable life lessons in the time they spent dancing together. But suppose there was no studio available. What about their friends in the dancing community, all of the young women that Danielle had guided and instructed over the years? What will happen to Danielle’s fellow dance teachers and colleagues with whom she had worked side by side for more than 14 years who are now without jobs? They were compelled to own a home with a dance floor. Anything less was incomprehensible to even consider.

One of Danielle’s goals in life was to one day run her own dance studio. Due to the fact that her daughters were becoming older, Melissa desired to resume her previous work. Consequently, when they were in quarantine, they remarked, “Let’s do it! Let’s open a studio!”

What at first sounded like a dream turned out to be a leap of faith, and now, after a significant amount of blood, sweat, and tears, Danielle and Melissa are proud to introduce Raise the Barre – Studio of Dance to the residents of Harford County.

This studio was founded on the principles of love, respect, and experience. Raise the Barre The instructors hold dance degrees from reputable universities and are considered to be the most qualified in the region. Raise the Barre is committed to giving its students with a supportive, nurturing, and welcoming environment in where they can learn the principles of dance, enhance their mental and physical well-being, develop artistically, and most importantly, have fun. Everyone can find something to their liking at Raise the Barre. They provide a wide variety of classes for people of all ages, such as dance, yoga, fitness programs, barre, and more! In addition to that, they will be providing a competition track for kids who are interested in dancing at a more advanced level.

Recommended podcast – Dance Boss Podcast

If you have an idea or something or someone you would like to hear on the podcast, let us know by sending an email to podcast@harfordcountyliving.com.

If you would like to be a guest on Conversations with Rich Bennett, click here.

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Hosted on Buzzsprout

Recorded through SquadCast

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