The Dance Instructor
BY RACHEL INSWASTY
Since 1997, Alicia Chodera has maintained what can best be described as a haven for young, aspiring dancers. She opened the doors to the Dance Academy of Stuart nearly three decades ago and hasn’t looked back.
“I moved here [Stuart], the year after Hurricane Andrew hit,” Chodera says. “After my daughters were a bit older, I wanted to work again and noticed a need for a dance studio in the area. The main studio building had been leased on and off, and I took up the opportunity to create something of my own.”
Chodera grew up in Chicago and began dancing at a local studio at the age of 8. Her mother thought that, since she was a bit shy but was always jumping around and dancing in the house, a dance class might be a good fit for her. “I was 8 years old, and I started at a small studio,” Chodera says. “Then as I gained more interest and improved, I moved to a larger studio in downtown Chicago around the age of 13. I got with some really good instructors that helped me secure my position with a company after high school.”