It’s not always easy to find a place for kids who love to dance and move to music, but don’t want to take ballet. There is an alternative to traditional dance studio located in the Falls Warehouse District. It is called SimpCity, and bills itself as a non-traditional dance studio.
“Beside the fact that we are non-traditional, we’re also very non-competitive,” says owner Britney Simpson. “Parents see that when they walk into our studio. We are a family oriented studio that is family run. My husband is my partner and I am the owner.”
The studio, at 8761 SW 129 St., opened in October, 2008 as a result of repeated requests from area moms. It offers hip hop and cheer classes for children from two years old to 16. The most popular class is the Pop Tarts for three to six year olds.
“I’m known for being good with little ones,” Simpson says. “That’s where we got our clientele. We have two levels, Pop Tarts One for three to five year old and a Pop Tarts Two for four to six year olds.”
SimpCity also has a class called Boogie Beez for two to four year olds. “They are all hip hop classes,” Simpson says. “Depending on the age, they are different in the way we teach them. We have something called hip hop moves.
They learn different moves with names. It’s great for helping them memorize. If we call out a name, they know a movement.”
Simpson says there are probably 20-30 different hip hop moves with names like the funky monkey, the criss cross and thunderclap. But by giving the moves kidfriendly names, it gets parents involved in helping the children rehearse a dance.
“We send home a piece of paper with the moves,” she says. “Mom and dad and call out the moves.”
Simpson says she fell into teaching dance while in high school. She was in Hip Hop Kidz, the well-known group directed by Suzy Stone. When one of the instructors needed help, they’d call on Simpson. She went on to become a Florida Marlins cheerleader. In the meantime, she says she became known as “the blonde who teaches hip hop and is a cheerleader.”
“I began producing hip hop birthday parties,” she says. “I wanted to finish college. That’s when I stopped teaching at Hip Hop Kidz. One of the moms called me one day, saying, we have a gym at our house and we would love it if you could dance with our kids.”
She began to teach private groups and more and more people would call asking her to teach yet another private group. Eventually the moms began urging her to open her own studio. Her husband supported her decision to do so.
“I started off with 60 students,” she says. “People that I babysat for or private lessons or people I did birthday parties for.”
Now she has 125-150 kids who attend classes. She also holds summer Munchkin Camps for children three to seven. “That’s what I’m really good at, working with little kids,” Simpson says. But SimpCity is not limited to little kids.
They have the Company dancers, which are dancers 10 and over. And the Rock- Botz, which are 7-11 year olds who have their own class costumes.
For more information, call 305-253- 9700 or go to www.simpcityinc.com