New Location for Neighborhood Dance School
Roslyn “Coach” English, grew up attending the O’Day School of Dance on Grand River Avenue in Grandmont Rosedale. A little later in life, as a sophomore at Michigan State University, English wondered how she could use dance to improve the lives of others. This led her to form D.A.N.C.E., Inc. in 2007 with three other women – a non-profit specializing in community outreach, mentoring and academic improvement for young people. Dance helped Coach English connect with her students, and she decided to see if competing was of any interest. The results were encouraging: D.A.N.C.E., Inc. went on to win both state- and national-level competitions and Coach English changed the name of the program to S.T.A.R.S. Elite Training Center.
Coach English moved back to Detroit after graduating from MSU in 2010, and brought her dance school with her. She set up in Rosedale Park Baptist Church, but lack of mirrors made it difficult for her 10 excited students to see themselves and improve. A second move to Brightmoor Community Center helped out, but when they unexpectedly closed in 2015, she was again looking for space. A temporary stint on Schoolcraft in the Grandmont neighborhood couldn’t contain the student and parent interest in her program, so she moved into 19600 Grand River – just a few storefronts down from the former O’Day School of Dance – in July of 2016.
“No student is ever turned away if they can’t pay,” says Coach English. Fundraising as a non-profit allows for any student to receive subsidized tuition, if they need it. Her competitive dance school is more popular than ever, with 89 students and a host of awards at all levels. And Coach English isn’t finished yet. She’s currently trying to expand S.T.A.R.S. Elite Training Center’s recreational opportunities with ‘Stars in the Making’, as well as the S.T.A.R.S. Leadership Development Program – a way for students to take on teaching and facility management.
S.T.A.R.S. Elite Training Center has classes available for children between the ages of 5 – 18 years of age. There are also weekly drop-in classes every Friday night from 9 – 10:30 pm ($5 for strudents, $10 for anyone else, including adults), host movie nights, offer private lessons and facilitate parents night out. Want to learn more? Visit their website: http://www.starselite.org/ or catch them dancing on WADL every Saturday night at 7:30 pm as part of the Detroit Dance Off programming.