Kelly and Dana Sullivan have combined their love of dance with the rush of the business world, and the result is their longtime dream come true: Onstage Dance Studio.
The sisters took out loans in Dana's name to lease a warehouse and pay for hardwood floors and surround-sound speakers. They laid out the floor plan and watched walls go up in a once-empty space.
When they finally taught their first dance classes in the new East Sonora studio on Jan. 14, it was the realization of a dream.
"I've always wanted my own studio, since I was 12 years old," said Dana, 26.
Kelly, 20, echoed her sentiments.
"Every day I walk in and go, 'Oh my God, it's mine.' "
Classes actually began Oct. 14, first at Sonora Elementary School and then in an old warehouse before the fledgling company reached its permanent home last month at 14965 Camage Ave., Suite D, off Tuolumne Road.
The white, one-story building now has two classrooms where tap, ballet, jazz and hip-hop classes are given to 160 kids, ages 3 through high school. Many drive from Groveland or Copperopolis.
'Nice and fun'
Entering the brightly lit studio, the first thing a visitor might notice is an abundance of smiles. Kelly and Dana's mom, Natalie, beams from behind the counter of On Stage Active Wear a dance supply store she runs in the entryway. Ballet, tap and jazz shoes adorn the walls. Racks of leotards cover the floor.
Young dancers wear satisfied grins as they complete a routine for Dana and Kelly.
"They're nice and fun and good teachers," said Ashton Whitehouse, 12, of Ponderosa Hills.