By Canishka Alexander
“At the early age of three, I instantly fell in love with dance,” recalled Michelle Russell.
Through her company, Abaco Dance & Wellness Studio, Michelle began offering a range of ballet, Jazz, Acro and Hip-hop dance classes for participants from the ages of three years old to adult on Abaco this year. She also provides therapeutic / restorative massage therapy in a separate massage room.
During her childhood years, Michelle discovered that classical ballet was her favorite style of dance. She continued to dance and assist her teachers during her school years, and she also participated in gymnastics during summer breaks.
In 2006, she obtained a certification in Massage Therapy at Boca Raton Beauty Academy in Florida. Upon returning to Nassau, she focused on her massage practice.
It wasn’t until 2011 that Michelle began dancing again after being asked to teach and choreograph at a local studio. During that time, she also competed internationally at StarQuest Performing Arts Dance Competition, and attended DanceLife Teacher Conference by Rhee Gold where she continued her dance education in various styles.
Michelle has performed locally at numerous events and recitals, and in music videos and movies.
With a vision for sharing her love of dance here on Abaco, Michelle left Nassau to join the spa team at Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club, and is excited to provide various styles of dance including acrobatics for all ages in Marsh Harbour. She has more than 25 years of experience studying and performing dance – a time period that includes a little over eight years of teaching experience.
She emphasized the importance of good technique to ensure a dancer’s longevity, as well as to prevent injuries, build strength and flexibility, and refine their movement quality.
“Correct body placement is key to safely executing movements and stunts and it creates beautiful lines,” she advised.
Presently, 40 students attend Abaco Dance classes, and each class can hold up to 15-20 students.
A recent dance showcase was successfully held, and soon after Michelle announced that summer recitals will take place annually for family members and the public. In the future, she looks forward to having her students compete both locally and internationally.
Summer classes at Abaco Dance are $15 per class, and are currently held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Abaco Dance & Wellness Studio is located in the old Island Girl Boutique Building on East Bay Street between Regattas and Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty.
For more information, please contact Michelle Russell at 1(242) 565-6588, on the Abaco Dance Facebook page, or on Instagram: @abacodance.