Abby Brunty of Crawfordsville (left) is a sixth grader at Granville Wells. Ali Hieston of New Ross is a freshman at Southmont.

If you are on Facebook at all then you’ve probably seen the many dance videos spreading like wildfire of local dancers, dancing away at several recognizable locations including, The Paper of Montgomery County! Talent Factory Arts & Dance (TFAD) look for unique ways to celebrate National Dance Day each year and this year did not disappoint when TFAD launched its “Bust a Movement Challenge.” Owners, Jim and Paula Kochert challenged their dancers to go out and spread happiness through the art of dance. Challenge participants had to take videos of themselves doing a dance move in different locations and post the videos on Facebook and Instagram.

“We decided to do this to get kids out . . . to get our dancers up and moving before dance classes start. This encourages families to get out and plan on how they were going to do this challenge together. Parents had to go with their kids to drive them around at the different locations . . . getting families to interact with one another,” Kochert said.

She spoke as to how social media has become such a huge part of people’s lives and that with this challenge the kids and parents alike get their “social media fix” and everyone can participate at any skill level. The challenge encourages families to interact and spend time together. Kochert said, “Talent Factory is all about family.” This mantra shows in how she and husband Jim run their business. Her children, daughter’s Madeline and Marigrace have both been involved in Talent Factory as well as the couple’s grandchildren.

Dance dad, Courtny Cotten says, “My girls, [Dorothy and Frances] are always excited to go to dance class and always leave there happy. Regardless of skill level, they are taking these young children and molding them into healthy bodies.”

Two Montgomery County participants, Abby Brunty and Ali Hieston recently brought their love of dance to The Paper of Montgomery County. Along with many other locations the young dancers danced in front of our offices inspiring fun and bringing smiles to those around them.

Ali Hieston of New Ross, accepted and conquered the challenge, winning first place in the ‘Bust A Movement Challenge.” Hieston has danced her way through towns such as Lebanon, New Ross, Ladoga, Jamestown, Advance, North Salem, Lizton, Brownsburg and Crawfordsville. She has gotten business owners, employees, and even the local Walnut Township Fire Dept. to dance with her! Hieston is beginning her third year as a member of the Talent Factory Dance Company and took on the challenge on full force. Hieston expressed her excitement at winning the challenge saying, ”Thank you so much to everyone who helped me win this super fun contest! A huge thank you to Talent Factory Arts & Dance for creating this awesome challenge! I’ve had so much fun going around and dancing everywhere! I met other dancers and got some employees to dance with me too!”

Hieston’s mom, Pam Collins writes, “I am so proud of her! We had so much fun with this. Loved the smiles on people’s faces when she was dancing . . . It was awesome when employees and customers joined in!”

Kochert expressed how proud she was of Hieston and of all their participants. Saying, they had no idea when this started just how big it would get!

Talent factory is located in downtown Lebanon and is open to all skill levels and abilities.

Originally published: The Paper of Montgomery County

While dancing is no doubt a fun activity, it is also greatly beneficial for developing children. At Talent Factory we provide our students a comfortable and encouraging environment to express themselves and achieve the highest level of success.
 One of the greatest benefits of any dance class is creative expression. Long hours in a classroom and screen time limits a child’s ability to tap into their imagination.  Additionally, the CDC recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  They break it down between aerobic activity, muscle and bone strengthening – all of which we cover in dance classes.
Four of the greatest benefits we’ve seen children at Talent Factory gain are:
  1.  Physical Fitness.  Dancing is an awesome cardio exercise for kids and helps boost their heart health. All the dances we teach at the Factory, particularly ballet, jazz, hip hop, acro, and tap, are perfect opportunities to improve flexibility which aides in muscle growth. And, since our dancers often follow complex routines designed by our instructors, hand-eye and overall body coordination develops strongly.
  2. Socialization.  In addition to the physical benefits, child dancers can also enjoy important mental benefits that will serve as great tools for them throughout their lives. Since our classes are filled with students of similar ages and interests, kids easily make friends. Practicing and performing in dance groups enables dancers to improve their skills in collaboration and teamwork.
  3. Self-Esteem.  Dance is also a great confidence booster. It can help many kids embrace healthy body confidence and acceptance. Since Talent Factory is a performance-based dance studio, we train our dancers to perform in public venues and dancing competitions. With these experiences, students gain self-esteem and learn to overcome fears.
  4. Improved Grades.  In addition to improving coordination, dance routines build children’s memory.  We have seen numerous children at the Factory whose performance has improved in the classroom because they’re flexing their minds doing an activity they love – dancing.  Whether students are memorizing multiplication tables or complex algebraic algorithms, they’re using the same tools they would use to execute a hip hop routine.
Want to learn more about the benefits of dance?  Give us a call at Talent Factory or consider signing up your child for dance classes (link to registration form.) See you at the Factory!