For Adrienne Arena-Jacobs it's nothing short of her dream studio: a former office building on Brodhead Road with enough space to fit everything from princess ballet to acrobatics and instrumental lessons.
"I always used to drive past the building and think, 'That would make a great studio,'" said Arena-Jacobs, owner of the Moon-based Arena Performing Arts Centre.
In 2006, Arena-Jacobs, whose former studios were on Flaughtery Run and Moon Clinton roads, purchased the building at 994 Brodhead Road, renovating it to include multiple studios, each outfitted with its own showbiz theme and springboard flooring for young dancers. Soon the studio will add new space for vocalists to train—Glee's popularity on television has inspired a new crop of aspiring singers, she said.
On Saturday morning, Arena-Jacobs worked out with a handful of mothers and daughters dancing along to zumba beats.
"Anyone can do it," Arena-Jacobs said of zumba classes. "It's great for someone without much experience who wants to come in and just have fun."
Having fun defines much of the Arena philosphy—the studio fosters a decidedly non-competitive environment for young performers, Arena-Jacobs said.
"We've got talented kids here, but it's an artform and it's subjective," she said. "Dance is supposed to be fun."
A Moon Township native, Arena-Jacobs has spent nearly two decades building the studio's clientele from word-of-mouth referrals. The studio now boasts more than 300 perfomers and clients, young children and adults alike, who come largely from the Moon Township and the surrounding communities.
Arena-Jacob's career in performing arts has taken her far beyond Moon Township. After graduating from Point Park University, she danced in New York City, toured the country with performance groups and even worked in Europe. It was as a dancer on a Caribbean cruise ship review that she met her husband.
They moved back to Moon Township, and in 1994 she opened her first studio.
"It's my home," she said. "[Moon] is where my family and my friends are."
The studio's reach has grown far beyond traditional tap and ballet—the studio features a musical theater troupe that performs regularly at Robert Morris University and a selection of fitness classes for adults.
"Last year for the first time we gave out a 15-year award to one girl who has been dancing with us," she said. "So yeah, it feels really good to come in and watch the kids grow up."
Know a resident or business owner you'd like to see spotlighted in Familiar Faces? Email Jenna.Staul@patch.com.