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Holly Rochelle Dance Company: Devoted to Dancers for More Than 25 Years

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A passion for dancing, performing and choreography has been in Holly Quesada’s blood since the tender age of five. An appreciation for dance in all forms inspired this Lodi native to begin teaching classes at age 15 at the same dance studio where she had been a student for years. As her high school years came to a close, Holly knew that she wanted to pursue a career that aligned with her love of moving to music and teaching others to do the same, a choice that set the wheels in motion for a successful future she was not yet aware of.

“After high school graduation I knew I wanted to do something in dance,” Holly recalled. “I loved teaching kids and choreography, so I felt called to pursue that a little more. At the time I was also content working for someone else, so I became an instructor locally for about eight years before switching to teaching at a studio in Tracy for about 11 years.”

As time passed, her passion for teaching dance grew and so did the idea of having a dance studio she could call her own. But her desire for business ownership was temporarily put on hold as she immersed herself in being a wife to husband, David, and mom to the couple’s three children, Joey, Jillian and Jenna. As her children got older, the bug to own her own dance studio returned.

Skills for New Venture
“With my husband David’s support, I started scouting the area for the perfect place to house my studio,” Holly shared. “After much searching and one failed real estate deal, I finally found the perfect home for my new business in the neighboring town of Manteca. It all fell into place so smoothly that I knew this business and location was meant to be. After much planning and prayer, Holly Rochelle Dance Company opened its doors in 2013.”

Using her skills as a multi-talented dancer, teacher, judge and choreographer, Holly offers students dance class options including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical/contemporary, musical theatre, hip hop and acrobatic instruction to students two and a half years old through adult, beginning through advanced levels. In Holly’s 25-year choreography career, her work has been recognized with the prestigious People’s Choice Award from Kids Artistic Review and awards from events. Her many competitions, productions, dance teams and musicals have been seen throughout the Central Valley and Bay areas.

Sharing Love of Dance
A member of Dance Masters of California, Inc. Chapter #13 since 1995, Holly has served on the board of directors for this non-profit organization for the last 15 years. She currently serves as the Solo Title Scholarship Competition Director of the 127-year-old national organization. She has been in partnership with many local public elementary schools in her area, taking the art, passion and love of dance to school children for the last ten years. In the four years since it was founded, Holly Rochelle Dance Company has developed a glowing international reputation as well.

“Dance is so important for our youth,” Holly observed. “It teaches kids to develop the tools needed for success in and out of the studio. Through our dance instruction and competitions, we encourage discipline, self-respect, how to work with others. We have very high standards here that are unique to the dance industry. It is very important to me that our students dance and perform in respectable, modest and age-appropriate ways. At my studio, we also don’t put a lot of emphasis on trophies and awards. To us, it is all about the experience and the gaining of life lessons.”

Providing Life Lessons
Holly is not shy about admitting that, as with any business, there have been highs and lows. But she also credits the studio’s growth from a handful of students to her current roster of over 250 to hard work, perseverance, the ability to trust her gut instincts and the support of her instructors and dancers. But since her very first day as a young dance teacher more than two decades ago, this ambitious mom has never lost sight of her vision to inspire Central Valley kids and adults through choreography and movement.

“As a team and company, we place a high value on respect; we stress respect for each other and respect for ourselves,” Holly concluded. “It’s so amazing to me to watch these kids grow, evolve and become well-balanced and self-confident young adults. I’ve even had the honor of teaching second generations of students now and that is such a gift.

“My long-term vision is to be able to continue to provide dance experience that is life-changing and has an impact long after graduation. My deepest hope is that what my students experience at Holly Rochelle Dance Company touches their lives and is an inspiration for them no matter where they go in life.” ■

To learn more about Holly Rochelle Dance Company, visit hollyrochelledanceco.com.