In May of 2005, Dorothy Stephenson was
working a 9-5 job and decided she wanted
something more out of life, so she decided
to pursue her true passion.... dance! With
17 years of clogging experience under her
belt, she gave her two-weeks notice and set
out in hopes of starting a dance studio.
With some help from family and friends,
Dorothy recreated an old barn on Rt. 640 in
Meadowdale, VA into a dance studio - the
Sundance Studio. There was no running
water, no bathrooms, and no heat. Only a
few space heaters and a small wood stove
in the corner kept the first members of
Sundance Express warm. Snow would blow
through the cracks in the thin walls
separating the team from the harsh
Highland County winter.
Photo by Kathy Cobb Photography
Classes began... and grew! After some painting and decorating, the barn
began to look more like a studio. Then, the opportunity for growth came. A
friend offered a charming location in mid-Monterey to Dorothy for
Sundance. Knowing it would increase class sizes, she jumped at the
opportunity and began the transition.
On May 12, 2007, the Sundance Studio held it's Grand Opening at it's
second location in the Mill Alley Courtyard in Monterey, Virginia. Being in
the heart of Monterey, the new location provided more easily accessible
classes. Classes began to grow, and more people became hooked on
clogging. However, the new location was only temporary.
In 2012, renovations began on the original studio - new drywall replaced
old failing walls, a bathroom and costume closet were added, new windows
let in natural, warming light, and local artist (and Dorothy's cousin) Erica
Stephenson completed several one-of-a-kind murals to decorate the studio
walls and inspire students and all who visited the new and improved
In 2015, Sundance will celebrate its 10th anniversary!
Sundance offers regular Clogging classes for all ages and also hosts
dance workshops and intensives featuring current and visiting instructors.
|"The challenge is not in finding the pot of gold,
but chasing after the rainbow!
You know what your dreams are. Go get them!"
- Dorothy Stephenson, Owner of The Sundance Studio
Mission and History
The mission of the Sundance
Studio is to build friendships, create
opportunities and inspire it's
dancers to dream! Sundance wants
to provide all of it's students with,
not only a creative outlet, but the
opportunity to travel to new places
and experience new things. In
addition, we strive to be a positive
influence to the youth in our
community and take every
opportunity to encourage and
empower youth to dream because
dreams can and do come true!!
Early Days at The Sundance Studio
Graham, Dorothy and Ashley practice with their trusty space heater that you see
in the lower left hand corner of the picture. There was no heat, no running water
and no bathrooms in the first studio.
Top left: Student Erin Brendel clogs in
front of the Sundance mural.
Top right: Our Juniors posing for a
picture in class.
Bottom: We always teach our students
to help others! We're posing here with
some of our stuffed animals from our
Holiday Toy Drive.