RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Dance Director Erin Pride may live in Rutherford, but she found her passion in Paterson.
She grew up learning dance at Rosa Parks High School and continued her interest through college.
Now she hopes to give other kids the opportunity to discover a love of dance.
"Inner cities inspire me because I deliver a message that the students couldn’t always get," Pride said.
Currently, she teaches at The Youth Ensemble at 2 Market Street in Paterson.
According to Pride, there were previously more dance opportunities in Paterson, but they've either discontinued or programs changed.
Pride has worked for other dance studios, including The King Centre in Wanaque and she co-partnered at Effusion Dance Collective in Little Falls.
She believes a dance conservatory is the best approach to teaching the art form.
Whereas studios allow students to take a variety of classes based on their interests, conservatories teach specific types of dance in a well-rounded course.
Pride is looking forward to working with students who may not otherwise be exposed to the dance world.
"There’s a lot of talent and it makes me feel full when I see students from lower income families get training and pursue a dream they wouldn’t know they loved unless they were exposed to it," Pride said.
She plans to expand her work to the Rutherford area within the next year.
Interested parties can sign up through the Youth Ensemble website . The second semester of the course begins on Jan. 9. Classes are for ages 9 to 12 and take place Monday and Wednesday, 5:30 to 8 p.m.