Velvet Canada is the owner of Dancehipology, a dance company and studio in downtown South Bend. Dancehipology offers a variety of dance classes and private lessons for all ages. The company is also available for performances at events.
Q: Why did you want to open your own studio in South Bend?
A: I wanted to share my passion and hobby with others, and I felt that there was a niche for hip-hop in the community. Not many studios here offer that. I wanted to give kids a place to learn that genre as well as others, because other than ballet studios, there aren’t many dance studios in South Bend.
Q: What has been your favorite part of opening your own studio?
A: I love having kids’ parties and seeing them perform. Hearing parents talk about how their kids go home and continue to practice is great because what I really love about owning the studio is sharing in their love of dance and seeing them continue to dance even when they aren’t at the studio.
Q: How did you first become interested in dance?
A: When I was six, my grandmother began taking me to senior citizen dances and taught me how to waltz and two-step.
Q: Could you tell me a bit about your dance career?
A: I really began dancing during my time at Notre Dame for about two to three hours a day. I started attending ballroom competitions, and from there, I entered Pro-Am competitions, where I danced with a professional but was still an amateur myself. I was able to travel all over the country. I eventually turned professional and competed with my partner for two years.
Q: What did you study at Notre Dame, and how did you get involved with dance while on campus?
A: I was an architecture major in the master’s program at ND. I actually did not get involved with dance on campus, but rather in the South Bend community. In fact, I didn’t know they had a ballroom team until much later.
Q: What else can you tell me about the studio?
A: We bring in teachers from all over. We have one from California who was taught by a world-renowned Latin dancer, and we are planning on bringing in more instructors from Austria. We even brought in Jaja Vankova, who made it to the top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance. Our goal is to make excellence accessible to the people here, so they can experience it firsthand. We also do private parties, birthday parties and can create dances to any kind of music. Our mission is to inspire and create movement through music and that’s what we try to do every day.