Kristie Schillaci, owner and director of The Floor Dance Company (758 South Avenue) grew up dancing. She’s had training in ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary and has been sharing that knowledge with students in Rochester for years. After graduating with a degree in theatre from SUNY Brockport, she began teaching at Nazareth Academy, and then the Aquinas Institute where she currently teaches Company Dance. One of the requirements that students in her Company Dance class have is to take dance outside of school and that is where The Floor was born. When the space on South Avenue became available, she jumped at the opportunity. She’s thrilled to be in the neighborhood, “What I love about being here is the community – there are so many local businesses and everyone is super supportive of everybody else,” she says.
Schillaci mainly teaches technique classes for students aged five and older. “I’m teaching them the artistry, the technique, the placement, and a lot of kids want that,” she explains. There is not a performance attached to the classes so students are not practicing the same routine every week. Many of her students are drawn from her classes at Aquinas and she is sensitive to the stress that many of the students may feel with their schedules and extracurricular activities, “Everyone is involved in everything – they have theatre and fall sports – I’ll find a spot for you in one of the classes and you can start when you can,” she says.
She currently teaches an adult contemporary dance class that is mostly made up alumni who have returned to the area from college and just want to dance. “It’s one of my favorite classes to teach,” she says, “I get to dance with them – they just want to move and that’s what I’m all about – getting these kids and adults to just move and enjoy class.”
Schedule constraints have kept her from opening up more classes, but it is a goal of hers for the future of the company. “My vision is that I want to grow enough to have classes where people can feel like they can drop in at any time,” she says. In her spare time, she visits the Rochester Public Market every Saturday and loves finding new, locally-owned, restaurants and bars to try out. “I love being in the city - I live in the city, my job is in the city – I love being down here and it’s so alive, it’s fun to just have everything here.”
For more information on The Floor Dance Company, and for a schedule of classes, visit thefloordancecompany.com or call 585-503-3055. Registration is open to anyone aged five or older.