CU student opens new local dance studio

Sophomore Andrea Tester teaches some of the kids some dance moves at her new Dance studio in Fair Haven.

Andrea Tester, a sophomore at Castleton, has a busy schedule. She’s a part of the marching band and several other musical groups on campus.

She is also an assistant coach for the middle school basketball team at Castleton Village school. She’s a music education major taking well above the 12-credit minimum required of a full-time student.

And just this past January she added another responsibility to her plate – teaching dance.

“I was up in the air about it for a couple of weeks because I didn’t think I was able to do homework and school and all the fun stuff I like to do with my life,” Tester said.

But she took the leap of faith anyways, opening her own dance studio, Andrea’s Dance Academy, in an old karate studio in Fair Haven, Vermont. She teaches Irish, hip hop, jazz and tap dancing to local kids ranging anywhere from 3 to 18 years old. On top of her scheduled dance classes, she also holds private lessons when she can. And to say she’s been enjoying some early success would be an understatement.

“It keeps me busy. I have 65 kids!” Tester said with a laugh. laughed. With a monthly fee of $50, that means she’s earning $3,250 each month. Not bad for someone who had her first open house a little over a month ago.

And to her credit, her students seem to have a blast. Many of her students at her Friday class seemed upset when they heard that classes were going to be cancelled this week, when all the local school districts are on break.

Her youngest group even started a small “we’ll miss you teacher” chant when given the news.

“I got a lot of positive feedback,” Tester said. “People who don’t even take dance classes have heard super positive things. I’ve heard nothing negative.”

This isn’t just a short-term project either. Tester has plans to eventually take over the business side of things after graduating. Currently her dad manages that part of the project. She also wants to be able to continue teaching dance on top of teaching music, which she’s studying to teach at Castleton.

“I’ll just teach, that’s what I’d like to do,” Tester said with a smile

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