By E. CLARK
MARTINEZ, Calif. – Hundreds of local dancers took to the stage last month to tap, glide and flip their way to lifelong memories, and for one local couple the performances marked a business milestone.
David and Deena Roming of In Motion Dance Center (IMDC) are celebrating their studio’s 10th anniversary in Martinez this year, and the June 13 recital at Martinez Junior High School was just one way to recognize their success and that of their students.
From the teeniest tots to older teens en pointe, the recital showcased a host of dance styles, including contemporary, hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, tumbling and even musical theater, all mastered over months and even years of practice at the Roming’s studio on Arnold Drive. Some of the young performers have been with IMDC since its inception, earning 10 year awards at the recital. According to Deena, “it’s been 10 years of partying!”
The Romings moved from Walnut Creek to Martinez in 2004. Deena, a former cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers and Golden State Warriors, had worked for a pre-professional dance studio in Danville for 10 years and had just earned a Master’s Degree in Dance prior to the move. She said there wasn’t a studio in Martinez at the time, so she and her husband David decided to combine their talents and open IMDC. Since opening in September 2005, their students have performed at Disneyland, Great America, and numerous regional and national dance competitions.
“I am blessed to get to see progress in my dancers every day,” Deena told the Tribune via email. “The joy that comes from seeing a dancer conquer a step and run up and give you a big hug is priceless. The handmade cards and notes from students that melt your heart with happiness and pride are amazing. Attending professional dance events where you see a former student dancing and come up and thank you for your contribution to their professional success … these are the moments I want to pinch myself and say, ‘Yep, you get to do this for a living! How blessed are you?!’ I’m so blessed that something I have a true passion for, I’m able to share with others and in turn pass the torch so they can share the passion with someone else. It’s pretty special.”
Deena said the joys of owning the studio outweigh the challenges, tenfold. But despite the rewards, it hasn’t been easy maintaining their small business.
“Any small business owner will agree and tell you there is so much that goes into it. From bills, to payroll, taxes, maintenance, public relations, maintaining employees and morale, there is much to keep up with,” Deena said, not to mention the unknown. “While most employees have the job security of a bi-monthly pay check, a small business owner may not know if they will have a business or paycheck tomorrow. But we have been blessed, steadily growing over 10 years – even through the recession in 2007-2009.”
The Romings said they owe much of their success to a “spectacular” staff, particularly Ms. Mindy Armando, Cori Heckmann-Moody, Laura Malpass, Chelsea Martin and Shelby Wise. Many of the instructors have Bachelor degrees in Dance, which Deena says is a huge benefit for the students as they are able to learn dance pedagogy and history in their classes.
“My staff and I continue to educate ourselves through seminars and certifications, maintaining the latest techniques of dance,” Deena said. “Together we bring the best Martinez could ever ask for and I am so fortunate to work with these ladies everyday. They pour their hearts and souls into the art form and instill the love for dance in each of our students.”
When asked light-heartedly if their studio was anything like the popular television show “Dance Moms,” wherein instructors use harsh words and tactics to “motivate” students, Deena said she distances herself from the show. “I really think (the show) may scare away potential dance families and that’s really unfortunate. Our dance families are amazing. Students and parents alike build lasting friendships that last long after their dance education at In Motion is complete. We are one big happy family and by having mutual respect for all, we work together toward one common goal – to build self-esteem and confidence by providing a quality dance education for every dancer that walks through our doors.”
IMDC’s anniversary celebrations have just begun. Shortly after the 10th annual recital wrapped up, 25 of the kids set sail to compete for national titles at the Celebrity Dance Competition, a Carnival cruise where the kids had the opportunity to take classes with famous dancers and choreographers, many from the “So You Think You Can Dance” television show. They’re returning just in time to take part in the 4th of July Parade down Main Street in Martinez, and later this fall, they’ll participate in the 60th Anniversary Diamond Parade down Main Street in Disneyland.
“Seriously, we are always celebrating!” Deena said. “Dance is something special.”
Current IMDC dancers who performed in the 2015 Recital: Lauren Aboussie, Willa Adler, Marian Agustin, Sabrina Ahad, Madelyn Aiello, Olivia Aiello, Yanna Albarracin, Katelynn Allen, Sarah Amador, Leah Amereh, Audrey Anderson, Kendall Anderson, Leilah Anderson, Maleeah Anderson, Cailyn Armstrong-Dandridge, Jerilyn Asoy, Isabella Avallone, Sierra Bailey, Skylar Bailey, Brooke Ballentine, Rowan Banicki, Lilly Bartlett, Miranda Bartlett, AMBERLY BATEMAN, Angelina Bertalan, Sophia Best, Angelina Betti, Olivia Biber, Makena Bigness, Kaylyn Body, Chloe Brown, Kiley Brown, Madison Brown, Tehya Burnett, Eden Burns, Mikayla Paige Cabida, Alexea Calligeros, Sarah Campbell, Lucia Carames, Lily Cardoza, Adella Carson, *Meghan Cesmat, Rowan Chamberlin, Spencer Chamberlin, Elise Chatterjee, Maya Chatterjee, Kiara Cheney, Mackenzie Chien, Sydney Chien, Jayden Claeys, Emma Cole, Juju Cole, Lindsey Cole, Taryn Collins, McKenna Collord, Elyse Combong, Sofia Conner, ANNA CORDES, Langdon Corum, McLellan Corum, Sophia Courtney, Alexa Cruz, Mia Cruz, Catalina Davis, Matilda Davoren, Janna Delamain, Livinia DeShasier, Mikayla Dilbeck, Olivia Divers, Kara Dobrzensky, Samantha Donohue, Neva Doolin, Ashlyn Doughtie, Emma Doughtie, Allison Duncan, Jennifer Duncan, Gabriella Duque de Estrada, Emma Eagan, Kylie Eckalbar, Mia Eriksen, Alyssa Estrada, Kaitlyn Evenson, Dana Eyre, Katie Fahy, Maggie Fahy, Bryanna Farley, Brytnee Farley, Taylor Fetterman, Jasmine Fisher, Aleena Flahiff, Laila Flahiff, Sofia Franco, Eleanor Frew, Lisa Frisbie, Bella Garcia, Zoe Garcia, Taylor Garidel, Colette Gilkerson, Jessica Gilkerson, Grace Goldsworthy, Natalie Gonzales, Kylie Grams, Abigail Grellman, Amelia Grellman, Chloe Griswold, Erika Griswold, Anna Guerrero, Kelly Guerrero, Madyson Gurske, Juliet Halfon, Kiri Hall, NICOLE HANSEN, Teresa Hansen, Elena Harrington, Melissa Harrington, Reina Harrington, Angelina Harris, Ashlyn Harrison, Addison Heitmann, Audrey Henry, Callie Hernandez, Genevieve Hernandez, Sofia Hernandez, Breanna Hintze, John Holly, McKenna Holmes, Katelyn Horner, Alice Hoversen, Jadyn Huffman, Hayleigh Huntley-Boylan, Madelyn Huth, Megan Huth, Avery Jackson, Jordan Jackson, Tessa Jeffress, Kelsey Jimenez, Indie Johnson, Samantha Johnson, Julie Jones, Faith Jonson, Mira Joyner, *Kayla Keller, Arianna Kelly, Autumn Kelly, Kathy Kelly, Ryanne Keyser, Kelsey Kirchner, Kenzie Kirshen, *Mackinnley Kirshen, Emma Kitchen, Chelsea Klubben, Chelsea Kosek, Maya Kwok, Khloe Langham, Deja Lau-Deudor, Grace Leach, Aliana Lee, *Madison Leingang, Audrey Lejano, Sydney Leonard, Jade Leverenz, Demi-Symone Lewis, Emma Lindblom, Jenna Lindenau, Maya Lindenau, Alexis Lipzen, Anna Loyd, Alyssa Ly, Siena Machado, Coco Magu, Vivienne Magu, Isabella Mahoney, Ayla Marquez-Adair, Riley Martell, Emily Martinelli, Samantha Martinez, Tiana Martinez, Tiffany Martinez, Maya Matson, Trinity Maxwell, Brianna McDonald, Hayden McDonald, Bryttney McFerren, Brielle Mead, Jillian Menconi, Kyla Menconi, Nathalia Mendonca, *Callie Mercer, Chloe Mercer, Bella Mesones, Avena Meyers, Charlotte Meyers, Parker Grace Miles, Maruel Millena, Myron Millena, Ava Minolli, Anabella Miranda, Harper Molineaux, Kelly Moran, Makayla Morin, Autumn Morley, Daniela Morrill, Eva Morrill, Piper Murdock, Kya Mylin, Brianna Nunez, Bricia Nunez, Kayla O’Brien, Haiden O’Hern, Siena Odiorne, Elianna Ortega, Aliya Owen, Isabella Pagan, Rachelle Pagela, *Danika Pahati, Makena Pahati, Averie Papp, Natalia Pascoe, Mikela Patrick, Paige Pearson, Isabella Peck, Judy Pellicano, Gracie Penman, Sofia Perez, NyEla Pete, Joey Pieper, Ysabella Portello, Kaitlyn Potter, Luci Pribyl, Sarah Price, Abby Pryor, Tiffany Pryor, Adelina Purewal, Devin Purewal, Kennedy Quintal, Lilah Raynor, Kearah Reiss, Ysabel Reyes, Paige Riney, Diane Rivest, TRINITY RODDICK, Amalia Rodriguez, Chloe Rodriguez, Delia Rodriguez, Gabriella Rodriguez, Gisella Rojas, Avery Roming, Olivia Rones, Jana Rosas, Alexis Rose, Jennifer Rualo, Jessica Rualo, Ava Salazar, Erika Salazar, Lola Salcido, Mia Samonte, Lola Sanborn, Jacqueline Sanchez, Lilliana Sandoval, KAYLIE SANTINI, OLIVIA SANTINI, Jennifer Schmalle, McKenna Schulte, Emma Kate Schwab, Kylee Sciara, Benjamin Scott, Emma Scott, Reese Scott, Chloe Setchell, TAYLOR SETCHELL, Deja Sewell, Makayla Shelton, Tara Shirdel, Maggie Shoemaker, Brynn Siebenrock, Alani Simms, Aviyanna Simms, Amelia Skowronski, Aniya Smith, Danielle Solis, Lily Solis, MADISON SPEAR, Megan Spear, Allison Spencer, Carly Steele, Taylor Stevens, Abby Stofer, Chloe Stovall, Katie Stratmeyer, Sydney Stratmeyer, *Ashley Suacillo, *Taylor Takamoto, Ava Tarter, Ariana Tecco, Ella Ternes, Yolanda Tewodros, Madilynn Todd, Madeline Tran, Annika Trees, SIERRA TROY, Layla Tschudi, Adalynn Tussy, Karina Valencia, Mia Valladares, Audrina Varise, Eliana Varise, Allie Watkins, Emily Watkins, Lucy Watkins, Emma Weatherbee, Kayla Welch, Shauna Wiebalk, Alexis Woodford, Danielle Zancanelli.
Dancer of the Month: *
Five year award: bold name
Ten year award: CAPITALIZED NAME