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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Leaving a Legacy

Shannon’s School of Dance celebrates 50 years.

At least three generations of dancers have passed through the doors of Shannon’s School of Dance. To celebrate the studio’s half-century milestone, former students will stage a reunion performance as the opening number of the company’s 50th annual recital at 5:30 p.m. on May 18 at Old National Events Plaza.

Photo of Shannon Jackson and Michelle Crosbie provided by Shannon’s School of Dance

Owner Michelle Crosbie herself studied at Shannon’s School of Dance. She continues a close relationship with Shannon Jackson, the school’s namesake. Jackson co-founded the school with her mother, Kalah Street.

“We started the studio together at Town Center Mall on Diamond Avenue in 1974,” Jackson says.

From that point, Jackson built its legacy over the decades. Crosbie took ownership in 2004, moving the studio to its present location at 3111 N. First Ave. ten years ago.

The studio’s lineup of disciplines includes an introductory tap/ballet/tumbling “combination” class for ages 3-6. Jazz, tap, ballet (en pointe), hip-hop, and lyrical classes are offered to students of various ages ranging from 3 to 18 years. The studio also offers seasonal adult classes, including ballroom.

Crosbie ensures the founders’ non-competitive philosophy remains ever present in classes and recitals.

“We want to give students the self-esteem and self-confidence to embrace who they truly are,” she says.

That philosophy works, as evidenced by the many alumni who live a dancer’s lifestyle. An example is Class of 2015 lifetime student Carly Jerstad, who enjoys a professional dance career based in New York City. A “lifer” is a student who attended SSD for their entire childhood.

“I am so grateful to Shannon for inspiring me to love dance, for teaching me as her student during my younger years, and for helping me now as my longtime mentor. It’s been a blessing to carry on her business and her legacy for the past 20 years,” Crosbie says.

When You Go
Shannon’s School of Dance 50th Annual Recital
5:30 p.m. May 18
Old National Events Plaza, 715 Locust St.
Admission is free

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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