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Today's Family Magazine

Spotlight Dance celebrates 22 years of movement

Aug 29, 2016 01:35PM ● By Today's Family

Spotlight Competition Group

Gina Rosson knew from the day she put on tap and ballet shoes at the age of three, that dancing would be a big part of her life.  “It inspired a passion in me that has lasted to this day,” says the creative director and owner of Spotlight Dance and Performing Arts Center in Mentor.

That passion led her to become an instructor at the young age of 14.  She met Mark Rosson, a magician who was doing magic shows in area restaurants, in the early ‘80s.  She and Mark began doing shows together, and soon married.  Then it was off to Hollywood.

“Gina was a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher in L.A.,” says Mark, who serves as business manager of the studio.  “But after awhile, she really wanted to have her own studio and wanted to return to her roots.”

In 1994, Gina opened Spotlight studio in Willoughby Hills, and five years ago, moved their studio to Mentor.  Last month, Spotlight remodeled the entire facility and expanded to four large dance class rooms, making it one of the largest dance facilities in northeast Ohio.  This year, they celebrated their 22nd anniversary in business.  

The studio offers an array of dance lessons; from jazz, tap and ballet, cheer, acro, to hip hop, break dance and musical theater.

“We love it when students are as passionate about the art of dance as I’ve always been, and plan to make it their career path,” says Gina.  “But we also love to see the kids just have fun with it. Whatever the reason they want to get into dance and perform, we give our best.  This is a place for everybody, including adults.”

Many parents enroll their children in dance as a way to keep them busy, enjoy an extracurricular activity, and as a healthy form of exercise.  But there are many other benefits as well.  Dance students build critical thinking skills, self-esteem, coordination, and learn the values and skills of creativity, problem-solving and risk-taking.  And when the atmosphere is positive, children thrive in the environment, according to Gina.

Gina is proud that many of her former students have gone on to great success in their dance careers—becoming professional dancers in New York, LA and beyond—such as Brandon Lefler, who is currently on Broadway; Michaela Johnson, recently featured in a Toyota commercial; and Dejan Tubic, who has become one of the most sought-after choreographers, and travels the world.  “We were so honored to recently have Dejan in our studio choreographing for our students,” Gina says.  “That was very special for us.”   

Gina is most excited to see her students progress and develop.  “We are very much a positive, motivational, uplifting studio.  We want everyone to enjoy themselves, build their confidence, and we let them know how unique they are as individuals and that they matter,” Gina Says.

Mark adds that the parents are just as important to them.  “We encourage them to come, stay and watch,” he says.  “We have an open, family environment here, with viewing windows so parents can see the training, the progress, and there is no question about what’s going on behind that door.  That’s very important to us.”

Spotlight Dance is located at 7591 Mentor Avenue in Mentor.  Fall session starts on September 6, 2016.  You can register online at or call 440-95-DANCE.

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