Dare 2 Dance, a dance studio in Camden, prides itself on being an affordable and top-quality program, “where we are raising great dancers and even greater human beings,” said Nyemah Gillespie (known as Miss Nye to her students). Gillespie is the owner and director of Dare 2 Dance, and co-founder of Dare Academy. Dare 2 Dance started with Gillespie’s passion for dance. The space is created for the youth to tap into their creativity as well as give back to their community.
Gillespie, who was born and raised in Camden, and her business partner Anthony Ways, “birthed” Dare Academy after expanding their programs. They moved into their new Dare Academy facility last August and plan to complete the addition of finishing touches to their four new dance studios, such as a mirror and barres by September, which marks the start of their 2019 to 2020 dance season.
When Gillespie returned home from dancing with a professional company in Atlanta, she realized there was no place for her to share her talents in Camden. All her friends who were interested in the arts always had to travel to Philadelphia for quality classes and training. Nye wanted to bring that quality right to Camden.
Ways and Gillespie were excited to create a campus atmosphere where they ‘Encourage Our Community to Follow Their Passion, Nurture Their Talent & Believe in Their Truth!’ Dare Academy offers several programs such as:
- Dare 2 Flip, a new gymnastics program.
- CYLAB which focuses on teaching law, self-awareness and ownership to their youth.
- WCMD Radio which unites and informs their community on today’s issues
- I Dare 2 Care Mentoring, run by Ms. Pamela Grayson-Baltimore, another business partner of theirs.
“We have a lot happening on the campus. At Dare 2 Dance, we plan on growing in numbers, offering more master classes and workshops, and performing more at city events,” said Gillespie.
Since Dare 2 Dance opened, Nye said Camden City Council has been very supportive of their endeavors. “Huge shout out and a thank you to Councilwoman Dana Burley who hasn’t missed a recital yet and Councilwoman Sheila Davis who is always in support of our work on the campus and in the community,” she said.
Oftentimes, Camden gets negative press and or has articles that begin with negative connotation. “I love to spread the word about the great things that are going on with the great kids who are born and raised here. This city is full of talent, passion, dedication and love that often gets overlooked. I am forever #CamdenProud,” Gillespie added.