Editor's Note: This article is part of a new online series launched in July 2023 by the City of Gainesville intended to highlight and promote must-try businesses in the area of the historic square in downtown Gainesville, Georgia. As the community continues to flourish and welcome new restaurants, retailers and service providers – especially within the downtown corridor – leadership wishes to introduce available offerings to residents and visitors alike ahead of their next trip to the City of Gainesville. Must-Try Monday features will be released weekly via gainesville.org and the @GainesvilleGeorgiaGovernment (City of Gainesville, Georgia) Facebook page. Be sure to "Like" and follow us on social media so you don't miss the latest and greatest about the Hospitality Capital of the World!
Elevate Performing Arts Center + Elevate Barre | 200 Washington St. NW, Suite B | Hours vary (please inquire)
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Oct. 2, 2023) – Located in downtown Gainesville, the goal of Elevate Performing Arts Center + Elevate Barre is to help raise up future leaders through the performing arts.
"At Elevate Performing Arts Center, we believe that each student has God-given worth and abilities, and the performing arts not only bring out each child’s unique qualities, but also teaches them important life lessons," Danielle Holland, who owns the business with husband Justin, told the City of Gainesville. "Our goal is to provide a family friendly environment, with positive teachers in professional studios, all while instilling values and traits that will help develop our students into the strong leaders of tomorrow."
Learn the ins and outs of Elevate Performing Arts Center + Elevate Barre, what makes it a Must-Try Monday-worthy business and why you should make it a destination the next time you're near downtown Gainesville by reviewing the exclusive Q+A with Danielle Holland below.
Q: When did your business open and where? If your business has operated at other locations, please list those.
A: We originally opened at 123 Washington St. in 2002. We outgrew that space pretty quickly and moved to another space in the Walton Jackson Building located at 123 Green St. Earlier this year, our lease was terminated early, leaving us with only a few months to find a new space and move from our location of 20 years. We were so grateful to find another space downtown, next door to DressUp. We are loving our new location and being closer to the square!
Q: How long have you been operating on the historic square in downtown Gainesville?
A: We have been downtown from the beginning – 21 years!
Q: What drew you to operate your business in downtown Gainesville?
A: I was actually still in college when we first opened, and Justin and I had only been married for eight months when we rented our first space. Justin knew my dream was to open a dance studio in my hometown, so we went out one weekend looking at spaces to get an idea of what was out there. I was getting very discouraged with how much rent was. Before we went home, I said let’s go to the square. There’s a dance studio there, and maybe we can look in the windows and get an idea of how much space they have. When we pulled up to the building there was a "FOR RENT" sign in the window. We called Mr. Jackson, and when he told us rent was $600 a month, we knew we had to make this happen because we were never going to find a deal like that again.
Q: What kinds of products and/or services does your business offer to the public?
A: On the performing arts side, we offer ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, acro, jazznastics, piano, voice lessons, and musical theater classes and productions. For barre, we offer barre and boot camp classes right now. We are looking to add more now that we our settling into our new space!
Q: Can you give some examples of unique products and/or services you offer that aren’t easily replicated elsewhere in town?
A: I think some of our ... unique offerings are our LEAD Performance Company where students not only take part in dance competitions, but also incorporate the Taking Shape program, which helps young people develop leadership skills as an important part of being in the company. [We also have] our Darby’s Dancers program, which is a free program for children with disabilities; our musical theater productions for ages 8-18; acro and jazznastics classes; birthday parties; partnering with AMPED to offer music lessons to foster children; free trials in every class we offer; partnering with Dancing for a Cause; and our barre fitness classes. We brought Gainesville its first full-length performance of "The Nutcracker," but our version is all jazzed up, so it gives all of our students a chance to participate, regardless of what style of dance they do! We also do wedding dance lessons! This has been one of our newest additions, and we love getting to know the couples and help create first dances, father/daughter and mother/son dances that will be memorable!
Q: What offerings are you most proud of and why? Give us the scoop!
A: What we are most proud of is [the] why behind Elevate. Our goal is to elevate each student/client to be the best version of themselves possible. We believe dance, music and fitness is for every BODY, and we do our best to welcome new students and make them feel like they are part of our Elevate family!
Q: Do you target a specific audience? If so, can you please specify?
A: For the performing arts center, we mainly target students ages 2-18, however, we have students who have continued past high school. For Barre, we mainly target ages 18 and up. We have clients in their early 20s, and our oldest client is 72, and she’s an absolute rock star!
Q: In your own words, what makes your business a positive addition to the downtown cityscape?
A: We really have something for all ages! We also bring something completely different to the downtown area with our offerings. We bring families to the downtown area, and we see these families patronizing so many of the businesses on the square, which is a win-win for everyone!
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: We love being part of the downtown area! Seeing the square going from almost empty to thriving has been so much [fun] for us, and we are so glad to have been a part of it. We would love for you to stop by or schedule a free trial if you are interested in classes!
PHOTO CUTLINE | Elevate Performing Arts Center is located at 200 Washington St. NW, just off the historic square in downtown Gainesville. Find additional photos shared via the @GainesvilleGeorgiaGovernment Facebook page.