The first time I dropped my daughter, Talia, off at ViBE’s studio I thought I was seeing double. Marnie and Rena Schwartz, co-founders of ViBE Dance and Fitness Studio, one of the biggest dance studios in Toronto, also happen to be identical twins. Neither are new to the dance floor, having both been members of the Toronto Argonauts Dance Team and Toronto Raptors Dance Pack, as well as qualified dance teachers, choreographers, and experienced aerobic instructors. And if that’s not enough, they’re also Ontario certified teachers and kinesiologists,
ViBE was recommended to us by friends and now Talia attends a hip hop class regularly on Thursday nights. It’s an expansive studio with around 15 rooms, and is surprisingly pristine considering the number of kids filtering in and out the front door every hour, not to mention the sweat these dancers work up. But as ViBE’s motto goes, they’re there to “Sweat and Smile”. The place is packed on evenings and weekends, yet always runs smoothly, no kid getting lost in the crowd or not knowing where to go. I remember how shocked my wife was when one of the sisters approached her and told her how well Talia was doing, despite never having met my wife before. She then proceeded to approach all the other parents, knowing each kid by name, able to make an informed comment on their progress. They take the time to get to know the kids and parents so that at ViBE you’re not just another number to them- you’re valued customer. In addition, they truly want what’s best for the kids. They’re willing to accommodate with make-up classes and even made life easier on my wife and I, by allowing Talia to sit in on the class before hers, when she arrives early some weeks.
The opportunities seem boundless at ViBE, with some of the dancers being chosen to dance in the halftime shows at a Raptors games each year, while others are selected for professional roles in movies and live theatre. At the very least, there are the health benefits from dance as expounded by Marnie and Rena, “At ViBE, we believe that dance is a life skill where people will be dancing through life…..at play dates when they are young, at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Sweet Sixteens, at their wedding and at their 50th wedding anniversary! Dance has the ability to improve self confidence, self-esteem, and ultimately, dance makes a person feel good about themselves. We are fortunate to witness dancers of all ages, genders, and abilities enjoy the obvious physical and health benefits of dance but it is SO special to see dancers grow and become strong and confident people. At ViBE, we hope to inspire dancers to become the best that they can be through our fun and challenging classes and in our non-competitive high quality program.” I think that sums up their philosophy perfectly. It’s not about making good dancers at ViBE but about making good people, and this world can use as many good people as it can get.