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Art & Life with Shay Galloway

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shay Galloway.

Shay, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I started ballet when I was seven years old. I instantly fell in love with the discipline and everything that filled the classroom… the music, the way my mind and body worked together, the ability to tell a story and create without using words. Even at a young age, I was taught the importance of making goals for myself, and that I had to work hard to achieve those goals.

My father passed away rather quickly when I was 16 years old, and my life shifted a bit. Being a teenager and losing a parent was extremely difficult and confusing, and I didn’t always know how to act or deal with my grief. My dreams of joining a pre-professional school to a big ballet company were put off to the side, which was incredibly hard for me to stomach at the time and I assumed my opportunity of dancing professionally had passed me by. However, I continued dancing at my home studio, and I started assisting and teaching classes as a way to help fund my training.

After graduating high school, I decided to go off to college and became a dance major at the University of Arizona. This really opened my eyes to the dance world, and I realized that many dancers can get their degree AND dance professionally. This gave me newfound hope, and I began dancing and training harder than I had in years. Having a college experience was something I feel incredibly blessed to have had, and it gave me life and business skills I have used ever since.

I later went on to dance professionally for Nevada Ballet Theater, and a few other small companies. But I soon found more and more gratification on the other side of the classroom teaching. At first, it was small, just giving feedback to friends in class to help them achieve steps. Eventually, I began to teach full time and started dreaming of owning my studio. And three years ago, my husband and I became the proud owners of 4S Dance Academy.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Whenever I would have a hard day growing up, and even into my adult life, I needed to put those feelings aside and focus on my dancing while in the classroom. Ultimately, it was my studio life and my dance family that helped get me through those difficult times. My mission as Co-Owner and Artistic Director of 4S Dance Academy is to create a similar space for our students. We have built an environment that is family friendly, where students feel safe and nurtured but are still held to a certain expectation and are challenged in the classroom. I am passionate about the art of ballet and believe all of our students deserve a fun yet high quality, detail oriented, personalized training experience no matter what their goals are.

Also, I intend to groom dancers that are well rounded and have a diverse and extensive knowledge of ballet technique and all classical dance genres. Our dancers are trained to be respectful and kind to each other inside and out of the classroom, they know to treat our studio as if it were their home, and have an understanding of what a privilege it is to be able to dance. We encourage students to take the lessons they learn in the classroom out into society and their daily lives.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
I measure our successes both inside and outside of the classroom. While there is nothing more rewarding than witnessing a student have an “a-ha” moment, there are other moments I have experienced that fill my heart with pride. For instance, when a 3-year-old peeks into the window of our advanced class then start dancing themselves, hearing our teachers give honest, heartfelt, and good advice to our students, watching our older students be kind and nurturing to our younger students, or seeing parents laugh and become friends in the lobby while their kids dance. We have only been in business for three years, but we have established a wonderful community!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
4S Dance Academy puts on two big productions every year, The Nutcracker and our Annual Spring Performance. We have recently expanded and are looking into doing a few in-studio performances a year as well.

On December 8th, 2018 we will have two performances of The Nutcracker at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. This is a magical holiday event that children and adults alike will enjoy! Come to experience this classic tale and be a part of Clara’s journey through the snow and to the land of the sweets!

Additionally, we offer free trial classes to all new academy students and have recently started an adult program as well. We offer everything from ballet, tap, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, and yoga for all ages!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photos By George Brister

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