Michelle Femino started on this journey in 1991, in a one room studio with only 80 students and a passion for dance. Michelle had gone off to college, earning degrees in both dance, and Psychology. But, unlike many of her friends and peers, she did not wish to break into the performance world, but rather longed to come home and teach. After graduation, Michelle came back to her hometown, and having danced since the age of 3, she went back to her childhood studio to teach. At the age of 22, Michelle knew that this was exactly what she was meant to do. Branching out on her own, she opened her very own studio, "Michelle's Kaleidoscope of Dance". It was the perfect way to combine her love of dance and children.
In 1995, the kids outgrew the one room studio space, and Michelle granted them what they needed. More space, and more opportunity! They moved to what the "OG" KODG kids called, "the Blue building", which was just a stone's throw away from the original building, but so incredibly exciting! This new studio afforded a bigger waiting room, with a separate receptionist office, two dance rooms, and a GYM! It was at this point that Michelle then changed the name to Kaleidoscope of Dance and Gymnastics.
By 2004, Michelle's students had once again outgrown their space. Although "the blue building" held many memories, her family, staff, studio parents and her students, (including her very first ones who were well into their mid to late twenties) were more than happy to help with a move into a larger studio, with more opportunity! Because well, "Once a KODG kid, ALWAYS a KODG kid." Michelle now has 3 dance studios, a larger gym, changing areas, a Pro-Shop, a bigger waiting area, more office space, room to host birthday parties, the ability to provide camps, the addition of Toddler classes, music classes, and so much more! Michelle and her staff continue to further their education by going to workshops, and conferences, and keeping up with certifications, and attending classes, and pushing themselves to grow in the best ways possible. This team truly takes pride in offering stellar service to KODG families, specializing in fair policies and strong communication. They are very personable and approachable, happy to help wherever they can.
The mission of Michelle's studio is now, and has always been, to help kids grow into happy, healthy responsible adults. At KODG, we believe in teaching more than just the dancer, more than just the gymnast. We want to teach the whole child. Here we believe in recognizing the strengths that lie within every individual child, and building upon them. From the moment a child walks through the studio door, Michelle, and now her staff, make it a mission to make it feel like the best place on Earth. ["It always felt like coming home, it still does"- Nicole Pruchnik, KODG Alum.] We believe in fostering independence, and helping our kids find things to be confident about. We work really hard to create a sense of community, where all kids feel safe enough to be who they truly are. ["The friends I had then....at the studio, we are still very close friends now"- Racquel Cardoza, KODG Alum].
The staff is incredibly passionate about sharing their love of dance and gymnastics with students, and they strive to encourage everyone who walks through the doors. But, it goes far beyond that. "If I can teach a student something, ANYTHING at all, I am happy. I get so excited when students come in and tell me they recognized a song in music class because we played it here. They are so proud to tell me, and I love listening. I consider that a win every time" - Erin Bosanquet, KODG Staff. The overall culture at this studio is to promote development, growth, kindness, and comradery. Often the lessons learned go far beyond the dancing or the gymnastics. Skills gained here are lifelong, and we are quite okay with that!