By Karen Billing
Inspired Movement Dance and Performing Arts may be only two months old at its new location on Carmel Mountain Road, but the company and its owner, Jenna Saylor, have been a popular presence in Carmel Valley since 2010, hosting classes out of the Boys and Girls Club Polster branch.
Saylor’s classes grew too large for the space at the Boys and Girls Club, so she was able to move to her own space and open a dance studio in January.
“All of the students followed me over so I was lucky that I didn’t have to start from scratch, just got a brand new home to be in,” Saylor said. “I never expected at 25 years old to be able to do this. I feel blessed to be able to do it this quickly. I wouldn’t be able to it without the support of my family, the parents and the kids.”
Inspired Movement Dance and Performing Arts offers youth classes in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theater, hip hop and acro. For young pre-school dancers there is a ballet-tap combination class. And for adults, the studio recently added salsa and Zumba classes.
Saylor went from teaching all of the classes herself to now having five instructors on staff.
Saylor started dancing when she was 3 years old and grew up dancing in a small town studio in San Luis Obispo County. She trained in all styles, including ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop, participated in the annual “Nutcracker” performance and competed regionally and nationally with the studio’s competition team. Despite the fact that she enjoyed performing, Saylor really wanted to teach.
“I’ve always had a passion for teaching,” said Saylor, who started assisting teachers in the studio at age 16.
She took on her own classes teaching beginning ballet and tap — and directed the youngest dance competition teams — when she was still in high school.
When she moved to San Diego in 2008, Saylor worked as a nanny and taught preschool while teaching classes at local studios, all the while having the goal of opening her own studio one day.
She was lucky to get the opportunity to open Inspired Movement Dance and Performing Arts classes at the Boys and Girls Club in 2010, her classes filling quickly. With the growth and need for more space, she obtained her space on Carmel Mountain Road, just before the intersection of Sorrento Valley Road, next to the Corner House Café and Caliente’s Mexican Food.
She completely gutted and redid the space — there are two dance studios with two-way mirrors so parents can watch but the children can’t see out and be distracted.
A big lobby is decorated with stylish, cozy couches and chairs. In addition, fun, sparkling mini chandeliers hang from the ceiling.
The students have their own dressing room, as well as a homework room that Saylor has made an enticing spot to be in, with bright pink and green walls, desk space and even a bright pink miniature chaise lounge.