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Studio: Spotlight Studios of Dance & Performing Arts NY
Location: Mahopac, NY (one hour outside NYC)
Owner: Kristi Tumminia
Details: Offering classes for ages 3-18.  Recreational and Competitive. Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Ballet/Pointe, Acro, Leaps & Turns, Combo Classes. Our studio is about 3,200 sq. ft and we have about 175 students.

DA: How long have you been in business?

Spotlight: We have been in business for just over a year.  We opened on June 1st, 2014. 

DA: What made you open a studio?

Spotlight: I had been teaching for several years and always had a dream of owning my own studio.  After learning about the business and realizing that I could create a studio that I always envisioned dancing at, I decided to take a huge step and venture out on my own.  I also wanted to provide an experience for my students that I felt they deserved. And I wanted to create a home for them. That’s exactly what Spotlight is now.

DA: When did you start dancing?

Spotlight: I started dancing when I was three years old in Brooklyn, NY, where I grew up.  I started like most young girls do, taking Ballet and Tap classes and slowly started to add more as I got older.

DA: What is one of your favorite things about running a dance studio?

Spotlight: One of my favorite things about running a dance studio is being able to create opportunities for my students and schedule events to promote them and our studio.  It’s very motivating and empowering to have the ability to book events, shows, put together productions and provide experiences.

DA: What is one of your favorite stories you have from your young dance career?

Spotlight: Honestly, there were always a few silly moments here and there like tripping over myself on stage, or falling out of a partner stunt with my best friend. But, my favorite moments and stories as a dancer are the ones of long rehearsals and being on stage. Cliché but that’s what we do it for right?!

DA: What have you seen that makes a great dancer?

Spotlight: I have seen dancers of all ages, levels and personalities.  I have been fortunate enough to be able to work with dancers that are extremely hard workers, that put 100% effort into everything they do, no matter what class, what style, whether they like the choreography or not.  Dancers that are just so in love with dance and so focused on making themselves better dancers by taking corrections, really listening to their teachers and practicing on their own.  That to me makes a great dancer.  Not the best, most flexible or most sassy kid in the room, who can do 100 turns or flips.  Someone who will work for not only themselves but for you as their teacher.

DA: What piece of advice would you give to new dance studio owners?

Spotlight: I would honestly say to stay true to your initial goals and what you believe in.  You will never make everyone happy, all you can do is put forth 100% effort to do right by your students and families, and do your best to give a great product.  Also, to stay organized! It is very easy to get caught up in costumes, tickets, bookings, etc.  A well run studio is a pleasant studio!

Take a look at what Spotlight Studios of Dance & Performing Arts NY has done as a studio in their first year of being open:

  • Performed at the Brooklyn Nets NBA Team at the Barclays Center, Westchester Knicks, NY Liberty at Madison Square Garden, Hudson Valley Renegades Minor League Baseball Team.
  • Competitions:  Had a winning first competition season at multiple Regional Competitions like Groove, Dancers Inc, Step Up 2 Dance and Dance Expressions.
  • Hosted several major Master Classes with Choreographers like Matt Steffanina, and are hosting workshops with Samantha Caudle of World of Dance in September as well as our premier event for 2015 Fall Season – Rebecca Davies from Australia – trainer to the Abby Lee Dance Company will be coming to our studio for master classes.
  • We also hold frequent charity events where our students come for a night out at the studio, dance and dress up for the theme and 100% of the proceeds go to the charity of that event.  We donated $1,100 to the Breast Cancer Research Fund and dedicated a professionally shot video to Breast Cancer Awareness month that you can find on our Youtube channel. www.youtube.com/Spotlightstudiosny
  • Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital – we donated dozens of toy and activity filled baskets to the patients there and delivered them.  100% of the proceeds went to those gifts.
  • My personal Youtube Channel with choreography from our classes, performances, etc.  www.Youtube.com/KristiNicoleOfficial
  • Check out our Facebook page.
  • Follow us on Instagram @spotlightstudiosny


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