Three Decades of Designing Dance in Fair Lawn
Carol Baskinger and crew teach with spirit
You'd be hard pressed to find a performing arts realm that Carol Baskinger has not excelled in.
She's an actress, dancer, vocalist and choreographer, and she helps others do the same at Dance Designs on River Road in Fair Lawn. What started out three decades ago as a dance studio has evolved into a dance, music and drama facility—all with professional training.
"People put their bodies in the trust of our school, and I want to do something beautiful for the child. I'm hiring the best people to accomplish this," says Baskinger.
"I love what I do, and I love the people I work with," she says.
The mission statement of Dance Designs is simple: have a training facility for aspiring performers where they can get all their training under one roof. Eighteen instructors teach under the Dance Designs umbrella, which opened for business 31 years ago.
"The school has turned out so many professional entertainers, that I feel I've had an impact on the arts in north Jersey, and dance in Bergen County and the state," Baskinger says.
Baskinger is an innovator. She was the person who first embraced the idea of educated dancers teaching the classes and installing springboard floors in studios. She first opened her school in Elmwood Park back in 1979, and in 1981 opened Dance Designs at the Archie Atkins Education complex. Dance Designs has been at its current location since 1991.
Dance Design consists of four full studios with mirrored walls, sprung floors, professional stage lighting, a comfortable student dressing room, parent waiting areas, and closed circuit television. A new offshoot as of 2006 is the neighboring DDM Entertainment, which is run by Baskinger's husband, Robert Kurlander.
There is very much going on at Dance Designs. On Saturday, Jan. 15, Dance Design students will perform “Dance Designs Goes PeaNUTS!” and on Feb. 5, the winter musical theater session begins. Call or visit the studio for more details.
Baskinger, who one season proudly attended three different Broadway openings that Dance Designs students appeared in, says it's all in the creation.
"You get people to create. When you yourself create, it allows people to create," Baskinger says.
"Spirit," she says with a smile, "goes beyond passion, which is egocentric. Spirit is intimate and touching others. It's not just about me; it's about aura of what you send out to people."
Dance Designs, located at 12-38 River Road, can be reached at 201-791-8873. You can also visit www.dancedesignsstudio.com.