Passion passed on to dance students

Published 3:02 pm Saturday, May 1, 2010

Her passion is dance. Her love is children.

Owning Studio 4 and teaching dance to children are the perfect blend for Margie Burk, artistic director.

“I’m very blessed because I can blend the two,” Burk said.

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The studio offers ballet, tap, jazz, pointe and for smaller children, tumbling. Students must be at least 3 years old by October 1 of the current year to attend classes, but there is no age maximum. Burk offers adult tap classes in the evenings, and adults also perform in the yearly recitals.

But Burk teaches more than just dance steps.

“We teach a little bit of dance a whole lot of life’s lessons,” Burk said.

Students learn theatre etiquette, stage directions, self-discipline, attending class on time, coming prepared for class and the importance of practicing between classes.

“Dance is discipline,” Burk said. “You cannot be a good dancer without the discipline.”

In her 30th year teaching dance in Selma, Burk has moved locations of the studio four times — Union Street, J. L. Chestnut Boulevard, Broad Street and then to Cahaba Road, where she has been since 2005.

“It’s my fourth location and my final one,” Burk said.

Burk started taking dance when she was 6 years old. By age 10, she put on her first performance in her friend’s basement.

“We used her mom’s sheets for the curtains,” Burk said. “We choreographed all the dance numbers. Of course, our music was played on a little portable record player with 45 rpm records. We charged people a nickel for admission. We put little notes in everybody’s mailbox. We even had a little concession stand for intermission where we did lemonade and popcorn.”

Students Jordan Cruz and Lauren Barnes take the tap, jazz, ballet and pointe classes.

“I like taking dance at this studio because [Burk] is just really professional,” Jordan said. “She’s not too strict to where everybody doesn’t like her, but she’s strict enough to where we can get it right.”

Despite the strict rules, end of the year recitals are always fun for the students.

“Ms. Margie is always so creative with all our costumes and the setting. I like getting ready with all the girls. It’s all really fun.”