A new dance studio is coming to Salem.
Arianna Thompson plans to hold the first classes at En L’air Academy of Dance and Acrobatics on Oct. 5. Thompson said she’s been a dance educator for 11 years and has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in dance.
Her studio will offer ballet, jazz, acrobatics, hip-hop, modern and contemporary styles of dance to students ages 3 to 18.
Thompson said she’s been dreaming of opening her own studio her whole life, even when she was a little girl. She enjoys teaching kids, who can gain confidence from dance.
Thompson, who is a speech language pathologist for Roanoke City Public Schools during the day, is new to the area, though she attended Radford University.
“There’s a lot of artistic opportunities for people in the area, but I feel like there could definitely be more and that’s something I would like to provide, especially in Salem specifically,” Thompson said. “There’s not very many dance studios in Salem.”
The phrase “en l’air” translates to movement in the air in French, Thompson said, which she felt encompassed the dance and acrobatics side of the business.
Thompson’s studio is about 1,500 square feet and located in the former Miss Mona’s School of Dance and Performing Arts building. Still, Thompson said she was renovating the space, including painting, adding new ballet barres and refurbishing the floors.