started ballet and tap classes at Garri when she was 2, and now the 22-year-old
is picking up the baton from Costanzo and carrying on the tradition Costanzo's
mother, Peg E. Bell, began in Burbank in 1958.
FROM THE BURBANK LEADER:
Garri tradition keeps on its feet
Twenty-year student Megan Baade given studio's reins from founder's daughter, Marybeth Costanzo.
By Joyce Rudolph
PARK Megan Baade has large tap shoes to fill as she succeeds Marybeth Costanzo
as owner of Garri Dance Studio.
want to create a noncompetitive, nurturing environment where all my students can
feel comfortable, and they can express themselves creatively and artistically,"
Baade said, adding that those were the values instilled by the founder.
From age 7 to 18, Baade took private classes with Joanne Parada, who continues to teach
at Garri. While at John Muir Middle School, Baade was on the dance team and later
enrolled in the dance production class at Burbank High School.
soon as I got out of high school, I stopped by Garri to say hello, and Marybeth
said she was looking for a jazz teacher," Baade said. "Peggy passed
away when I started teaching there."
responsibility increased, and she became the studio manager. During the holidays
in 2002, she took a break and joined the "Here's to America" show, touring
Eastern Europe Bosnia, Kosovo and Germany, "to boost the morale of
our U.S. troops," she said.
was inspired to do this by Miss Peggy, who had performed for troops with the USO
shows," Baade said.
Baade returned, she and Costanzo discussed her taking over the studio when Costanzo
retired. Baade purchased the studio in January, and Marybeth and her husband,
Carl Costanzo, have moved to Arroyo Grande, near Pismo Beach.
Costanzo is a 30-year veteran of the Burbank Police Department.
couple are enjoying retirement, but miss the people left behind in Burbank, Marybeth
must know about three generations of Burbank residents," Marybeth Costanzo
said. "I miss the people at the dance studio. Thank goodness for e-mail.
I keep in contact with people that way."
said she believes her family's studio has been left in good hands.
very proud of Megan carrying on the tradition originally started by my mother,"
she said. "I think she'll do a great job, but she has big tap shoes to fill."
has already made some physical changes to the studio, painting the inside and
hanging modern signs outside the building. She's created a new class schedule,
brought in "very energetic" teachers and hired office staff.
studio offers ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, Pilates, creative movement, salsa, swing,
belly dancing, and exercise classes for moms. Baade has placed a heavier emphasis
on entertaining community groups. Dancers have already appeared at the Belmont
Village assisted living center and St. Francis Xavier Church's Olde Time Country
students are invited to open houses at the studio from noon to 2 p.m. Sundays
want to stick to the traditions Garri has started, provide community entertainment
for seniors and the Burbank community and really help these kids to learn to appreciate
the other people in their community," Baade said.