stars are born at the Rysing Star Dance Academy in Wheeling | News, Sports, Jobs



Photo provided by Wheeling Heritage Taylor Rys is opening the Rysing Star Dance Academy on Market Street this week after moving the studio to their new home in July.

WHEELING – A dance academy is gearing up to open in a new home in Wheeling this week, and owner Taylor Rys is ready to teach kids of all skill levels.

Rysing Star Dance Academy’s new home at 1320 Market Street in Wheeling is their third home in two years, having moved to town in July. Classes will start next week.

Rys said part of what sets Rysing Star apart is their ability to deal with students of all abilities, including dancers with special needs, through the Be A STAR program, which stands for sensory integration, therapeutic recreation, acrobatics and rhythm.

“They work on a number of things besides dance – I’m also a behavior and occupational therapist, and I also work for Augusta Levy (The Learning Center), so we integrated those two elements to create this program,” says Rys.

Rys added that she specializes in working with children with autism, which leads to many different dynamics at the studio.

“We have something for everyone. It’s not just about focusing on the competition or for people with a certain level of ability,” she said.

The academy cultivates three dance companies: a recreational company, which does not compete, but performs live; an entertainment company, which hosts parades, videos, vacation shows and fundraisers; and a competition company.

Additionally, Rys said the inclusion of an all-boy dance troupe was another distinguishing feature.

The studio offers many styles of dance including jazz, tap dance, ballet, joy, and musical theater.

“It’s another thing that puts us on the sidelines – I don’t think any other place in the area has a boy group,” she said. “… We have nine or ten kinds of courses that we offer.”

This month, Rys said the academy is hosting several Halloween-themed activities. Until October 25, a pumpkin competition is organized, whether carved, decorated or painted.

Categories include Best Overall Mind, Scariest, Funniest, Most Creative, Most Challenging, and Most RSDA.

During the week of October 25-30, students are encouraged to wear their costumes to class or come decked out in Halloween props and outfits, as long as they are mobile enough to dance.

Costume categories include ‘Funny and Fabulous’, Scariest, Most Creative, Most Glamorous, Most Original, Most Iconic, Most Outstanding, and ‘Cutest Pumpkin in the Patch’ Costumes.

Finally, as Rys also works with Augusta Levy, her dance studio will be participating in their Trunk-or-Treat event on October 23.

“Last year I started this and the kids really loved it, so I wanted to keep it going,” Rys said. “… Since I started working for Augusta Levy, they’ve been doing a fundraiser for the kids there. I’m asking our studio to accept donations of candy or little sensory toys for the trunk or treat, and we’ll have a car there for Rysing Star at the event.

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