Celebrity choreographer visits Hattiesburg dance studio - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Celebrity choreographer visits Hattiesburg dance studio

Dance Moms Miami star and teacher Victor Smalley visited Hattiesburg over the weekend to teach classes at On Your Toes dance studio.

Smalley is the owner of Stars Dance Studio in Miami, Florida with his business partner Angel Armas. 

Smalley's success began when he was 15, and was also a dancer on the popular show "So you think you can dance."

Smalley's studio was then chosen to be an extension of "Dance Moms" through a YouTube video of one of his students, Mia Dias. 

"I was always an artist as a kid, but painting didn't give me the joy that I needed," Smalley said.  "Once I took a dance class the rest was history."

Smalley taught three classes of jazz and contemporary routines throughout the day to students from Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi  

Owner of One Your Toes Jennifer Odom-Townsend was very pleased with the turnout.

"Classes were filled within 24 hours through our web site," Townsend said.  "We had to add an extra class so everyone could be apart of the event."

Townsend brought Smalley to her studio in hopes of giving her students, and any dancer the opportunity to learn from a professional.

"As a child, I had to travel to conventions and competitions to get the chance to work with professionals," Townsend said.  "I want to bring the experience to my students that would be a little more close to home."

 Smalley stayed all day incorporating meet and greets between each class.

"I travel every weekend whether it be to teach, perform or take my kids to competition," Smalley said.  "I was surprised by the kindness and good manners I have received here in Mississippi, it was totally different than I expected!"

Smalley also met each student individually and autographed T-shirts and pictures. 

Senior dance student Sydney McGee took Smalley's jazz class.

 "I was really excited to hear that he was coming to our studio," McGee said. "I have taken classes with him before, and he is such an amazing dancer." 

McGee is also a fan of Smalley's show, and aspires to be a professional dancer herself.

On Your Toes plans to host Maddie Ziegler and Gianna Martella from the original show "Dance Moms" will visit Hattiesburg August 4, 5 and 6.  Townsend hopes to continue bringing celebrity dancer instructors to the studio in the future.

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