Weekdays are long for Harmony Rebeiro.
On one hand she works to bring her dance experience to students from Vernalis to Stockton after local districts slashed arts funding and dried up any opportunity for them to learn during school hours.
On the other, she runs a pair of successful dance academies – Dance and Cheer Stars, with locations in Manteca and Lodi – that provides instruction for students ranging from those who have never made a single move to those who are full-fledged professionals.
And at least four days during the week she handles them both while at the same time being the mother of a two-year-old boy.
Busy schedule aside, Rebeiro forges on with each of her students and instructors and takes pride in the fact that Central Valley studio, which routinely goes head-to-head with bigger Bay Area-based teams and organizations during competitions, routinely cranks out professionals -- be it putting them on the road as a traveling ballerina or a Raiderette.
While being goal-oriented helps produce results, Rebeiro said that sometimes stopping to smell the roses offers a wonderful opportunity to realize the success and talent of her students.
“I guess I’m so into getting them to where they want to be – whether it’s the Warriors or the Raiders or something else -- that all I really think about what we have to do to get you there,” she said. “But then I look into the hall and realize how many have gone on – it’s crazy.
“To have a studio here in the Central Valley that is able to produce talented dancers like that is a great honor. A lot of those Bay Area schools provide such a deeper pool for those teams to draw from, but we’ve been well-represented.”
Since 2002 Rebeiro has grown her Dance Stars studio to include a competitive cheerleading team to augment the existing jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, tumbling and lyrical classes.
And her focus has always been on the students.
Her first studio in French Camp featured a two-way window that allowed parents to watch every second of every class, and ultimately led to problems.
When she moved to a new site on Dupont Court in Spreckels Park, Rebeiro adopted a new policy that they could only watch the last 10 minutes of every class – thus eliminating any possibility that parents could think they knew more than the instructors.
The policy, and a top-notch crew of instructors, helped Rebeiro grow the business into one of most respected in the Central Valley.
Just recently she opened up a satellite facility in Lodi that she spends time at twice a week, she brings her experience to New Jerusalem Elementary School, Woodward Elementary School in Lathrop and a charter high school in Stockton to help spread her love of dance to those who might not be able to afford the lessons or programs that she offers at her complex.
“Dance allows me to do what it is that I love to do – it has always been my passion,” she said. “Being able to teach kids, from beginners all the way up to advanced dancers, is extremely rewarding.
“And when you see some of them go on to become professionals it brings the whole process back around full-circle for me and reminds me of where I was when I was a Raiders cheerleader. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Dance and Cheer Stars is located at 1240 Dupont Court in Manteca. For additional information, visit www.danceandcheerstars.com or call (209) 456-7373.
To contact Jason Campbell, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (209) 249-3544.
– By JASON CAMPBELL
209 staff reporter