Ad Spot

Downtown Niles to welcome new dance studio

NILES — A new business will be pirouetting into downtown Niles later this month.

Expressions Dance Studio is set to open at 210 E. Main St., Suite B, offering dance classes — everything from ballet to tap to jazz and hip-hop — to area youth. The studio will host a registration event Sept. 27-30, where community members can visit the space, meet the instructor and sign up for classes.

Initially, owner Erin Hamilton-Torres plans to cater classes to children ages 3 to 17, as well as include mommy-and-me courses. If there is a demand, she may add adult classes in the future.

“This is an all bodies welcome, all skill levels welcome safe space,” she said.

Hamilton-Torres comes to her studio with lifelong training in dance. Classically trained and with a specialization in modern dance, Hamilton-Torres has danced in Russia, New York City, Japan, Los Angeles and more.

“I grew up in a single-parent household, and we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so dance was a ticket for me to see the world,” she said. “It was a way for me to step out of the world where I grew up and see that the world was a big place. That’s what I’m passionate about — having the arts and opportunity be available to everyone.”

Though she has lived and worked in many places across the globe, Hamilton-Torres never found a place where she wanted to open her dream studio — that is until she moved to Niles last year.

“I’ve always wanted to own my own space, but I never found the right town. When I moved to Niles, I fell in love, and I really wanted to make a space for what I love to do,” she said. “I also wanted to make it accessible and affordable for everyone.”

As she prepares to open her studio for the first time, Hamilton-Torres hopes her business can provide Niles youth with the same feelings dance gave her growing up.

“Dance provides structure and accountability, but it also provides community with your peers,” she said. “It’s definitely a fun, super positive hobby to take up. It’s not as serious as people make it out to be. It’s a fun way to get out there.”

Though she said she first wants to focus on opening and establishing her business, Hamilton-Torres already has her eye on Expressions Dance Academy’s future. She said she has room to expand should demand call for it, and she hopes to eventually bring in more instructors.

“I’d really like to make a permanent home here for Expressions Dance,” she said. “I think the arts are so important, and I’d like there to be a place for that here.”

For more information, visit Expressions Dance Academy on Facebook.

Berrien County

Local league to register voters on National Voter Registration Day

Dowagiac

DAR to host rededication

News

Niles Housing Commission moves to make improvements, stabilize funding into the future

Dowagiac

Dowagiac police investigating Saturday night shooting

Cass County

Van Buren/Cass District Health Department confirms COVID-19 associated death of a student in Van Buren County

Cass County

Cassopolis man gets probation for drunk driving

Cass County

South Bend man resentenced in 1997 Union murder case

Dowagiac

Army veteran talks his experience in Afghanistan

Business

Local farm markets ready for fall season

Business

Mason’s Pumpkins preparing for second-annual Harvest Festival

Dowagiac

DUS, teachers continue contract talks

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Area History Museum fundraiser raises $40,000

Giving

Wolverine Pipeline, area organizations partner to lend veteran a helping hand

Business

Cassopolis woman opens vintage, antique store downtown

Brandywine Education

Tickets on sale for Brandywine Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Education

New tech students race marbles to raise money for essential workers

Berrien County

MGCF awards $121,182 in grants to Berrien, Cass counties

Berrien County

Berrien County reports lower COVID-19 cases in schools following mask mandate

Berrien County

Berrien County amends transportation funding requests

Cassopolis

Dowagiac man found guilty of drunk driving

Cass County

Underground Railroad Society of Cass County wins Michigan Humanities Council 2021 Outstanding Humanities Organization Award

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Sept. 17-22

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township/Edwardsburg Police Log: Sept. 13-20

Business

Boutique yoga, wellness studio opens in Edwardsburg