June 22, 2022
Volume 3 Issue 3
By: Kiera Baity
From instructing in North Carolina to opening her own dance education company, Cassandra Springs has over 20 years of dance training and professional theater, film and competitive experience — fusing her passion for teaching and mentorship into the evolution of her dreams.
Springs’ love for teaching dance was sparked at a young age in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Springs grew up dancing at Dance Productions Performing Arts Studio, a competitive dance program in North Carolina. While there, she was a part of an apprenticeship program that trained young dancers as teaching assistants to aid with classes that catered to dancers between the age of two and ten. “That kind of sparked my interest in teaching overall and with mentorship as well,” says Springs.
By the time she was in her junior and senior year of high school, Springs was teaching her own classes at her childhood studio. She pursued that interest while attending the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. “I didn’t realize you could actually major in dance education in college, until I got to college,” says Springs, who received her Bachelor of Arts in dance with a K-12 teaching licensure.
After college, Springs taught at numerous studios in North Carolina, such as Extravadence & Tumble, Dance Art Studio and Heather’s Dance Inc. “That was kind of my base in education,” says Springs, “starting in the studio setting, and then transferring that into a professional career in a public school.”
Her professional career began as a member of the Techmoja Theater and Dance Company, where she starred in productions such as The Color Purple and Dreamgirls. From there, Springs piqued as a performer, choreographing for international artist IYAZ and touring with multi-platinum recording artist Ginuwine.
In the public school system, however, Springs mentions that the districts she grew up in failed to offer dance in academics. “I thought you could only get that level of training at a studio,” she says. Experiencing the different opportunities that were not customary in competitive dance education inspired Springs to pay it forward.
“I wanted to be able to give that back in a sense, to students who were not as fortunate to be able to afford private training,” she says.
As a high school dance instructor for nine years, Springs received the Triangle Rising Star award for outstanding choreography and best musical. She’s taught dance at eight high schools in North Carolina and one outside of the metro Atlanta area. Her levels of expertise include tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, modern, lyrical, West African, jazz funk, heel technique and pom for game day performers.
When the pandemic tendu’d its way to the performing arts world, Springs found there were a lot of things out of her control when it came to teaching dance in Atlanta public schools. “Everyone was kind of learning as they went as far as COVID was concerned,” Springs says. “No one knew what they were doing . . . so we were all scrambling.”
Ultimately, she made the decision for herself and her family to focus on her business, Elite DanceWerks LLC, where she plans and provides dance education services, such as master classes and choreography to clientele.
Since leaving the public school system, Springs started teaching at Core Dance studios in Decatur, Georgia, as an independent contractor instructing a jazz class once a week.
“It was a super challenging time, but during that time it also kind of forced me to share more things that were working for me personally, in my classroom, and also giving more of myself as well,” says Springs.
The love for the arts was the glue that held people together during the pandemic, especially with the dance crazes that surfaced and soared throughout social media platforms. “We were all dancing in our apartments and our houses, and had to make the best of everything,” Springs says.
In making the best of an unfortunate shift in life as she knew it, Springs utilized her media sources to share what worked for her when it came to adjusting from dancing in-person to dancing online. As a result, Springs gained a lot of positive feedback from dancers and choreographers who attended her virtual classes and wanted to be full-time dance students of hers.
Springs accepted donations from dancers attending those social media classes, contributing the funds to Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA and Trans Youth organizations, even offering her services for free sometimes, out of love for helping others improve their technique.
Springs currently resides in Atlanta with her husband and children, as she continues to focus on building community through dance by growing her Elite DanceWerks LLC brand. She still teaches a weekly adult jazz class at Core Dance studios and judges professionally for Fusion National Dance Competitions and Impact Dance Adjudicators.
Kiera Baity is a twenty-seven-year-old graduate student pursuing my Masters in Professional Writing with a focus in Creative Writing. She is specialized in fiction, non-fiction, songs, poetry, news, blogs, web content, copy-editing and articles (just to name a few). What makes her writing unique is the way she blends prose and professional language, ultimately producing content that both informs and intrigues.