Downtown Niles to welcome new dance studio

Published 12:11 pm Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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.