Young ‘Steps’ students
encouraged to pursue dance, ‘big dreams’
September 6, 2018
Sara Fraire, who co-owns Steps Dance Studio
in Atwater with her husband Jason, believes in making dreams
come true — for herself and for her students.
Her passion is influencing her students
to grow in their abilities in dance, and then connecting
them with resources so they can pursue their own goals if
"I’ve made it my mission to
see that kids get exposure to Hollywood choreographers,”
she told the Times. “Dancers are so talented, but
they don’t have resources. Just because we live in
a small town doesn’t mean you can’t live out
your big city dreams."
Last year, four of Fraire’s students
were invited to New York City to train with the Rockettes,
a famous precision dance company.
Fraire explained that Steps provides quality
choreographers from other areas who come to the studio.
She is constantly reaching out and making connections so
that she can give her students more opportunities to expand
She said, "My passion is to make sure
doors are open and students who want to can get jobs at
Disneyland, on cruise ships or as part of a tour with a
San Francisco company."
Describing how she is able to offer her
students opportunities, she explained, "I went to summer
camps in Los Angeles, and grew up training with these great
choreographers. My peers have gone on to teach in L.A. I
stayed in contact with them. Gina Starbuck from Fresno,
who went on to pursue her career, comes to my studio about
once a year. Gina worked with Prince, and she assisted with
choreographers for the tv show, ‘So You Think You
Can Dance’. Robert Hoffman, the lead in ‘Step
Up 2: The Streets', has also come to the studio to instruct."
Fraire described her personal dream come
true, owning her own dance studio.
She exclaimed, "It’s been my
dream since I was 8-year-old! When I was in school, I choreographed
routines with my friends, and then we performed them in
She opened Steps in 2005. In addition to
her downtown Atwater location at 158 Broadway Avenue, three
years ago she opened her second "uptown" location
at 598 Bellevue Road.
The age group she works with is 2-1/2 years
old to adult. She offers classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop,
contemporary and competitive dance. She also provides private
Besides herself, six dance teachers work
with the students.
Steps Dance Studio’s competitive
level team competes up and down the State and has won awards.
Fall Season at Steps Dance Studio has just
Fraire said, "We’re always open
to taking new enrollment. We understand that entering a
dance class for the first time can be intimidating, and
we try to get to know each student and work with them at
Explaining how her husband, Jason, assists
her with maintenance and making students feel comfortable,
she laughed, "We have all boys, so he calls my dance
students his dance daughters. He does maintenance and gets
to know the kids."
One of the first Fall Season classes, Ballet,
was attended by a group of young ones. The children were
having fun and doing well.
They were being instructed by Taylor Oliver.
Fraire said, proudly, "Taylor started
dance here at age 7 or 8, and now she’s one of our
For more about Steps Dance Studio, go online
to the Steps Facebook page or to the website at: stepsinatwater.com