Expressing yourself through movement in space – that’s how Deidre Haley Hunter describes the art of dance.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be on the dance floor,” Haley says. “Anyone can learn. There’s a dancer in all of us.”
Hunter’s dream to make dance lessons a part of every interested child’s education is quickly becoming a reality at AllStar Dance Academy in Los Lunas.
While offering a spring jazz workshop at one of the Los Lunas public schools, Hunter realized the need for a full dance school in Valencia County.
“People kept telling me I should open a dance school,” Hunter recalls.
“Children and students of all ages love and want dance lessons. We needed a school in Los Lunas. There is nothing centrally located here. That is why I wanted to bring dance education here.”
Hunter, a seven year resident of Los Lunas, grew up in the Mike Haley Dance School in Albuquerque and became an instructor at 14. Her dance background is extensive, having begun taking dance lessons at the age of four.
She has continuously taken classes, workshops, and individual training. She owned and operated the Albuquerque Dance Academy before moving to Los Lunas.
An accomplished dance instructor, Hunter encourages her students to explore the world of dance. She says dancing helps children learn about self-discipline and increases their self-esteem.
“This is not a dance studio. It’s a school. You learn how to concentrate and focus with each step. I always tell my students to improvise. Make it their own. I give them the basics. They feel so good about themselves. They’re thrilled to be in front of people.”
Hunter just completed a six week dance course at the school, located at Bobson’s West, 22 El Cerro Road, at the Woo Lee Martial Arts Institute.
The Native New Mexican says she enjoys guiding her students to new levels of achievement. “Dance is rewarding. Just like sports and academics, dance tests your physical and mental exertion.”
The dance instructor was once a world champion horse rider. “Dance helped my form. It’s for anyone, guys included. Everyone benefits from dance. Football, any sport. Dance is about flexibility, agility, and balance.”
Hunter continues to teach in Albuquerque and works with Bonnie Jones, a demonstrator from Bosque Farms, along with Ballroom and Latin dance instructors in Los Lunas.
She says working with Master (Mark Anthony) Baca at the Woo Lee Martial Arts Institute “has been a wonderful experience. He is very community-kid oriented.”
Some of Hunter’s younger students recently performed at San Antonio Fiestas in Los Lunas where the energetic dance instructor got the word out AllStar Dance Academy.
“The three and four year olds in pre-ballet are so cute. I got to pass out fliers and watch the children perform. Those moments have been the best part – talking to people and showing them what we do. Hours are spent on technique and form in the classroom, but performing and making a connection- that’s the incredible part.”
Hunter begins every class by noting how each one of her students has taken time out of his or her schedule to be there. “This is there time. It’s not about work or family. Dance is a personal a commitment. This is when they can focus on their breathing and just relax.”
In the fall, Hunter plans to add a hard wood floor, full bars and mirrors to the dance room. Look for a full line-up of tap, ballet, pre-ballet, pre-teen, teen and adult jazz, as well as, a performing arts/musical comedy troupe. Swing, Latin, and Country Western will also be available.
Children, parents, senior citizens – anyone can become a dancer. “Women love men who can dance,” Hunter adds. “Give it a try this summer. Ages from my last class ranged from 5-65. I have a very unique style mixed with ballet, yoga, hip hop. We do it all. It’s expressive modern movement.
“Above all, we have a good time. You learn what your body can do and make incredible progress.”
Get on board with summer dancing. AllStar Dance Academy is taking open enrollment throughout the summer. For more information, call 565-8385, 604-0753 or 866-5122.