Does your child love to dance, move, groove and perform? Have you tried other dance programs but want something new? Well, you’re in luck because on September 11, the Talent Lab Dance Studio will officially open its doors in Short Hills.
The Talent Lab Dance Studio will be located at 200 Hartshorn Drive inside the community congregational church, and will offer classes in tap, acting, acrobatics, ballet, contemporary and jazz. Along with these classes, the studio will have a competitive dance team that will be singing, acting and, of course, dancing its way through competitions.
Alyssa “Aly” Anne Ross, the studio’s co-founder, is a Wayne, New Jersey native. She has been in the dance industry for nine years, most recently working as rikudiah instructor at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston.
Co-founder Krystle Lyn Tomlinson hails from the American Musical and Dramatic Arts Academy in New York City and has 25 years of dancing experience. She was the previous owner of the Applause Theater company and played the Sugar Plum dreidel in the “Elf on the Shelf National Tour.” She is excited to continue her career in the arts world.
Ross enjoys dancing because “It is a different form of creative expression. It’s not only athletic, but it’s also … [so] much fun for me to create different things just by using a body.” She also loves to dance as it gives her the opportunity “to learn and grow on a team not only physically but mentally with others who share the same passion as you.”
Ross started dancing at “the lovely age of 3,” and like many other young girls she was drawn to more competitive dance after falling in love with the Lifetime reality TV show “Dance Moms.” The show followed the Abby Lee Dance Company’s group of dancers as they (and their moms) navigate the world of competitive dance. Despite these drama-filled episodes, the dancers, like Ross, had an unwavering passion for dance. The experiences Ross had while competitive dancing inspired her to study dance (alongside education) at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.
Ross wanted to open her own studio as she’s seen a plethora of teaching and dancing styles that different studios employ. She said, “I didn’t feel like I fit the mold of what other studios wanted. So, I wanted to put together my own performing art[s] and dance competitive studio that really honed in on pushing kids to the next level and having kids achieve their dreams of auditioning for professional work … and college. I hope they have fun while achieving goals that they set for themselves.”
She loves how rewarding it is to help students accomplish these goals. She said, “I just want the kids to be their own dancer. I’m a big promoter of artistic expression through movement.”
Ross’ and Tomlinson’s classes will be offered to all school-aged children ages 5-18.
Ross said, “We cater to everybody. Dance is not just for one person, and it’s not just for one body. It is for everybody, no matter who you are.”
To sign up for classes and/or learn more about the studio, visit thetalentlabnj.com or call/text (862) 571-6135.