Wayne Dance Company


Photo Courtesy of Wayne Dance Company website. https://www.waynedancecompany.com/

Taryn Thompson opened the doors of the Wayne Dance Company opened in 2017.

Savannah Ameen, News Writer

About 10-15 girls watch their reflection in the mirror as they move their bodies, expressing themselves through dance. Their faces serious with trying to remember the next steps, as the song plays on, they move with the rhythm. This is a common sight for Wayne Dance Company owner, Taryn Thompson.

Thompson opened the studio summer of 2017, all on her own, from scratch. She loves the kids and being able to watch them grow up. Some of the dancers started at the studio when they were three and now, they are nine.

“Being able to grow with the kids, creating personal connections, which has been the most rewarding part,” Thompson said.

She loves being able to be her own boss. It allows her creative energy to flow into every aspect of owning a dance studio. She creates her own choreography, social media content, and organizes all the studio events, such as the winter and spring showcases held each year.

However, Thompson acknowledges it is not always easy being her own boss. Sometimes in a small town it can feel like dance comes in last place in many people’s lives. She has so much motivation and love for dance but has realized it might only be a recreational thing for some kids. She understands the importance of not pushing kids unless they want to be pushed. At the studio she provides a place for students to grow not only their dance skills, but also grow and learn life skills of confidence, the importance of mental health, specifically self-love, patience, and resilience. She does this by showing up as her best self, leading by example, and holding herself to a standard, but also sharing human moments.

When feeling discouraged, Thompson thinks of the kids, as they are her biggest inspiration. She remembers and reflects on the studio’s “big wins.” One of those being the showcases in the spring and winter.

“As my own boss I don’t get validation very often, but they (the shows) are so validating,” Thompson said.

She also is thankful for the random messages from parents and families and the positive experiences they have had with Thompson personally or the studio.

The studio provides a wide variety of options for many age groups to learn new styles of dance or work on progressing their skills. Every week the studio is filled with students from the age of 3 all the way through college age. The studio provides classes such as tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, pom, hip hop, and more. Classes are taught by Thompson and other teachers and assistants she has hired locally, some of which are students at Wayne State College.

She hopes to instill passion by creating choreography, based on the vibe of each group of students. She wants to create something unique to each group so that they may find inspiration and make the passion apparent through their expression of the learned choreography when it comes time to perform for the community.

At these shows the community shows up, but of course the families and friends of the dancers as well.

“Shows are such a family thing and being able to see the families have a moment together here at the show is special,” Thompson said.

She reflects on the moments after the show ends when she sees her dancers walking away with their families in their costumes and the smile on people’s faces. It fills her with joy knowing that dance is what brought them together that specific night and being able to provide families those moments, that will be memories is extremely important, always wanting to provide a positive experience for all involved.

Although Thompson loves dance, she has much involvement elsewhere as well. She graduated from Wayne State College with a degree in speech communication with an emphasis in PR and organizational leadership and puts that to work in many ways. She creates content for brands on social media, models for Good Life Boutique, along with other modelling jobs, wedding choreographer and even has affiliate links with companies.

Through it all, Thompson still finds time for her family and to grow in her personal endeavors. In five years, she would love to become a mother, continuing doing many things, “have my hands in many things,” she said, and being open to new opportunities in life and her dance career. In this community, she hopes to continue being a staple and present in the dance community in Wayne, no matter her level of involvement. She would love to add a second location and even additional classes like tumbling.

Taryn Thompson opened the doors of the Wayne Dance Company opened in 2017. (Savannah Ameen)