Gold Step Studios
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Photos by Dante Fontana
Jacqui Tillisch, owner of Gold Step Studios in Placerville, says her venue is designed to bring in music performances and give locals a place to dance and perform.
“Gold Step Studios is a unique performing arts studio that caters to a wide-range audience, from toddlers to seniors, so there’s a little bit for everybody,” Tillisch says.
Since its opening last December, Tillisch says the studio has been steadily picking up business, and as more people find out about it, they are signing up for dance classes and coming in on weekend nights to watch live music performances. “Eighty percent of the people who come to visit and see what we are about come back and return to take a class or attend a function,” Tillisch says. “The snowball is really starting to roll.”
The studio offers a variety of classes including “Toddler and Me” dance classes – which are a great activity for parents and their newest additions to the family – to the more-involved core body balance training classes. In the latter, class participants use the studio’s picturesque 800-square-foot back deck overlooking a creek and participate in physical fitness exercises using elastic cables similar to bungee cords. “It strengthens your inner core without having to do, say 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups, and we’re using natural elements outdoors,” Tillisch says.
But dance and strength classes are only a fraction of what the studio offers. Juggling, hula-hooping and “Toy Chi” activities are also on offer, and there are performing arts activities involving staffs and poi, which came from an art form performed in circuses. People who take part in the performing arts get together in groups and go to art walks and other street fairs, where they perform their acts to add to the activities. “There’s a lot of different layers to it,” Tillisch says. “We are unique in performing arts and almost a community center in a sense. It’s privately owned and operated, and I just have a big passion for community outreach with the youth.”
Through the studio, Tillisch says she is incorporating a non-profit organization, which will be a localized chapter of the Hip Hop Congress (hiphopcongress.com). “Basically, it will be for a smaller sector that targets youths between the ages of 10 and 24,” she says. “It captures young kids and teens to young adults, and it’s going to focus on different categories like break dancing, poetry and how to become a DJ.”
Another aspect of the non-profit program is the art of painting street murals, with an emphasis on the artistic qualities and strong instruction on the ethics of not doing it outdoors without permission, but rather showing how the same artwork can be created on canvas.
“We have a 3-year-old son, so we want to plant some seeds for the future and keep the arts alive in a cool setting in Downtown Placerville,” Tillisch says.
For more information, visit goldstepstudios.com.