Dance Works: Global influences brought to Oyster Point

Emma Mead, owner of Dance Works, assists her daughter, Sarah, in correct positioning at the barre. (Photo by Cathy Welch)

Throughout the world, the medium of dance seamlessly blends aspects of visual appeal, athletic ability and music. Dance Works, a company owned by Emma and Tim Mead, strives to infuse the love of dance, and its prominent features, into each student who comes leaping through the studio doors.

Emma Mead, along with her husband, Tim, founded Dance Works in 2013. The opening of studio doors bridged the gap between being life-long dance aficionado and business owner. From cleaning toilets to teaching classes, Emma took a hands-on approach to managing her petite studio. Eventually, the bustling studio began to outgrow the space where Dance Works first began. To
allow for more room, the studio moved to a more spacious location in Oyster Point, where it continues to flourish today.

“Dance is all I know,” Emma says with a smile, recalling a life filled with training, teaching and most importantly, a profound passion for dance. Mead began her dance career around age 13 by attending a ballet school in England. After schooling, Emma’s appetite for the art only expanded, as she grew older and became more invested in the world of dance.

After meeting her Air Force husband, Tim, dance only took a larger role in Emma’s life. Moving around with an Air Force spouse allowed Emma to teach dance classes in Germany, Italy, England and the United States. By experiencing different environments and techniques of international dance, Emma formed her own opinions on which global aspects to incorporate within her own studio.

International features of dance and dance studios played a large part in inspiring Emma to create popular dramatic recitals that occur every other year. These recitals take on a more theatrical tone by recreating popular tales such as Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. Emma creates costumes, develops choreography and integrates scenery to tell the familiar tales in a unique way, with a focus on dance and without the use of words.

Emma summed up the importance of her biannual productions by saying, “You can almost picture a dad, with a bored look in his eyes, sitting at his child’s dance recital. But at Dance Works, the theatrical performances allow the entire family to get more involved.”

Familial values are another distinct feature of Dance Works that the Mead family treasures. Tim and Emma, along with their two daughters, find that most of their quality family time is spent in the studio. For Emma, it was a blessing that both her daughters followed in her footsteps and developed a similar zest for dance.

“It has blown me away,” the proud business owner says when asked about the expansion of Dance Works. The spacious studio allows Dance Works to offer a multitude of specialized classes, including Mommy & Me, Advanced Ballet and Adult Barre Fitness, in addition to jazz, pointe, tap, lyrical and contemporary dance classes. Emma and her skilled team of instructors know exactly how to nurture a passion for dance in students with ranging dance abilities.

“Every time I pinch myself,” Emma says proudly when thinking about what creating Dance Works meant to her, “I’m totally amazed at how everything seems to come together.” With sights set on fine-tuning the studio rather than further expansion, the multi-cultural and familial authenticity of Dance Works seems likely to stay intact.

Dance Works
Contacts: Emma and Tim Mead
Address: 11828 Fishing Point Dr., Newport News. VA 23606
Phone: 757-775-7848
Instagram: @danceworksva

About Abigail Barna 24 Articles
Abigail Barna grew up in the small town of Mount Airy, Maryland, then headed to Virginia to obtain a degree in English from Christopher Newport University. Growing up, Abby read every book she got her hands on and even experimented with writing her own stories. When Abby isn't writing or reading, she prefers to relax and spend time with her friends and family. Abby is currently a student at Christopher Newport University and is looking forward to the future and what career opportunities are ahead.

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