When FishHawk resident Caroline Browning saw a need in her community last month she jumped in to help. The owner of Tutu Cute Dance studio in Park Square heard that a mom was looking for a class for her young daughter with special needs. Browning quickly offered to teach her herself, and within days a weekly class was formed.
“Every child deserves the chance to experience the joy of dance,” said Browning. “I see it transform children, and it is like a form of therapy itself. You can walk into the studio having miserable day, but guaranteed you will walk out happy and counting your blessings.”
Word spread fast about the special needs class, which Browning offers free of charge, although parents are invited to make a donation, and the group now meets once a week on Tuesday afternoons with some siblings joining in too.
“I feel so lucky to teach this class,” said Browning. “The children are so sweet and a joy to teach, and the looks on the parents’ faces just beaming with pride are priceless.”
Tutu Cute Dance, which opened in March 2018, offers classes for children 18 months to 8 years old.
“We concentrate on teaching dance with classes filled with imagination and fun,” said Browning. “What makes our studio very special is that because our students are so very young, we allow the parents to view the class at all times, that way there is no separation anxiety or tears.”
Browning, who trained and danced professionally in South Africa and Europe, moved to FishHawk two years ago after owning two dance studios in Maine. She has a BA in dance and has been teaching for 30 years.
“I actually stumbled across the Park Square location first,” explained Browning. “I loved the sense of community, the splash pad, etc. and started to conjure up the plan for a boutique-style studio that would be pink and full of tulle and very appealing to little girls with a curriculum that would engage and thrill them.”
The studio offers classes in ballet, tap and hip hop, as well as Dance with Me, where a parent or caregiver participates for the youngest clients. The dancers will also perform the Tutu Sweet Nutcracker at Newsome High School next month.
To learn more, visit www.tutucute.dance. The studio is located at 105 Park Square, or 16132 Churchview Dr. in FishHawk, and can be reached at 436-0084.