Community-based dance project provides safe space for all
By Seth Sandronsky
They started jazz dancing at age 6 growing up as latchkey kids in a single-mother household in San Francisco. Today, twins Heather and Holly Singleteary helm the BlyueRose Dance Project in the Tallac Village Shopping Center in Tahoe Park.
Pre-COVID, the duo affordably instructed 90 students, from elementary school kids to adults, at their studio. Today, classes are held outside in Tahoe Park.
To say that BlyueRose dancers get a good deal under Heather and Holly’s tutelage understates the case. Their business model is unique in its affordability. Why?
In brief, the sisters have not forgotten how household economics can put the cost of lessons out of reach for parents struggling to make ends meet yet who want their kids to experience the joys of dance. To that end, Heather and Holly co-founded the BlyueRose Dance Project in 2015, providing low-price lessons to dancers of all ages and backgrounds.
The sisters nurture students and provide encouraging words. They choreograph original dance routines, a labor-intensive process. There are only so many hours to make their project happen as they are also parents with school-age kids.
In developing young people’s skills, Heather and Holly are in part teaching the importance of regular practice. The lesson is straightforward. Consistency is key. Repetition matters. Personal growth comes from showing up on time to practice. There is no magical formula, just perseverance.
Before COVID, students performed in annual dance recitals around town. For the sisters and their youth dancers, the payoff on recital night was a joy to behold. All the months and months of mental and physical exertion were worth it. To see the youth performing on stage and responding to the cheering audience was unforgettable.
“Holly and Heather have raised my daughter’s self-confidence,” says Tammy Sanchez, a parent of a young student in the BlyueRose Dance Project. The sisters’ motto is to change the world one dancer at a time, a goal that Sanchez says they meet extraordinarily well.
In BlyueRose classes, dancers of all ages and backgrounds stretch, dance and cool down. The classes are eclectic, from ballet to hip-hop, Irish dance, lyrical/contemporary to pom, tumbling, creative movement and yoga.
As a community nonprofit with a loyal following for the past five years, BlyueRose Dance Project does not stop at elevating the skills of students. Just ask City Councilmember Eric Guerra who represents Tahoe Park.
“BlyueRose Dance Project has been an amazing asset for the neighborhood,” Guerra says. “Not only have they provided a new exciting avenue of entertainment for kids, but they also have encouraged more healthy activity for adults with their morning yoga, and brought more life to the Tallac Village Shopping Center, which had seen better days.”
There is a term for this: economic development. “It’s exciting to see the resurgence of a family-focused business for a community with new families who are returning and moving in,” Guerra says.
What is the secret to the growth of the BlyueRose Dance Project, which moved to its current spot from an Oak Park studio in 2018 and has nearly doubled its student base since then?
“I believe our dance project continues to grow because we offer a safe, welcoming space for all dancers, regardless of age, socio-economic status, race and gender,” Heather says. “We allow creativity to flow from not just us but our dancers as well, and we foster confidence in every dancer that comes through our doors.”
BlyueRose Dance Project is at 5990 14th Ave. For more information, visit blyuerosedanceproject.com.
Seth Sandronsky can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.