Christina Root got her start in dance at a very young age, and as she’s grown so too has her passion for the art form. By the time she graduated from Snider High School, she was a prominent dance teacher in the community and an award-winning choreographer that was highly sought after in the Midwest. In August of 2011, a few months after graduating from the University of Saint Francis, Root started Elite Dance Center as the founder, artistic director, principal choreographer and teacher. The studio offers ballet, jazz, contemporary, pointe, hip hop, modern and tap classes to kids ages 3 to 18 in a professional and artistic environment.
Since its inception, Elite Dance Center (EDC) has expanded its facility twice, the second of which will be completed by the start of the studio’s fifth dance season this September. Root’s prominence as a teacher and choreographer has also grown in the region with her students winning coveted awards at local and national dance competitions. Her choreography has received “Best Choreography” awards multiple times every year since EDC opened. EDC is looking forward to celebrating its fifth year and to continuing its involvement in the dance community.
Dance teaches self-motivation, creativity, confidence, healthy living, discipline and time management. The work ethic my students learn through dance makes them hard workers in every aspect of their lives.
Many of my students train 20-25 hours a week at the studio, compete in 10-12 dance competitions a year (most of which are out-of-state), all while maintaining good grades in school. I’ve had students graduate high school as valedictorian, go on to college with major scholarships or have very impressive careers...and not just in the dance field.Q2: Why did you start Elite Dance Center?
Having been a part of many studios and having traveled around the country training as a student from some of the best dancers in the world, I witnessed a lot of great teachers. I knew early on that I wanted to start my own studio and share the amazing training I had as a student with young dancers in the Midwest.
Choreographing is also a huge passion of mine and I love creating pieces for all of my talented dancers. They’re such a joy to watch in class and their individuality makes it easy to choreograph for them.
Q3: What has EDC done for arts culture in Fort Wayne?
EDC brings unique dance styles to our city. My faculty prides itself on staying up-to-date with what’s happening in the dance industry. We’re constantly traveling to further our own dance training, bringing that knowledge back to Fort Wayne to share, not only with EDC students but, with the whole community.
We’re always involved in community events, too. Over the next few months, we’re participating in Taste of the Arts, Fort4Fitness, Dancing with the Fort Wayne Stars, the SPCA’s CatWalk, the Heart Walk and events for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. EDC also regularly hosts workshops where we bring in master teachers. This month we’re bringing in teachers from Atlanta, New York City, Charlotte and Detroit.
Q4: What’s your favorite part of your job?
I truly enjoy working with kids; I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Mild Intervention. One of my favorite things is witnessing all of my students improve and seeing them apply themselves in class to achieve the goals they set for themselves.
Q5: How is EDC different than other dance studios in town?
There’s quite a variety of dance studios in town, so it’s nice that there are different places for different types of dancers. One thing that stands out about EDC is that we offer recreational classes as well as competitive training programs with varying commitment levels. Our staff is also extremely well-rounded so we can offer something for every style of dance.
I’m really proud of my students’ open-mindedness. They’re always welcoming to new students or teachers and they love experimenting with new movement. Our delicate mix of hard work and fun is something I’m really proud of and strive to keep at EDC.
Owner(s): Christina Root
Address: 1583 West Dupont Road Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825
Phone: (260) 739-7738
Products & Services: Ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, pointe, tumbling for kids ages 3 to 18 years of age