Little girls run across the bamboo floors in colorful tutus, or islanders gather on mats — breathing deep for yoga classes as light floods in from several large windows. The sounds of hip-shaking, toe-tapping Zumba dance classes, or graceful feet sweeping over the floor often echo throughout the studio.
These are some of the sights and sounds from XYZ Movement Arts Studio, on 698 Airport Center Road, formed by Cynthia Burke, also the owner of Cynthia’s, Of Course Catering Company.
“The place has great energy,” said Burke of the 1500 square feet studio. “I love walking into the space.”
Her idea was to create a venue for the community to come together, move, play and inspire one another, and on Dec. 13, Burke will be celebrating XYZ’s one year anniversary.
Burke said up to 250 people walk through the studio’s doors every week for a variety of classes including Zumba, many different types of yoga, hula, ballroom dancing, Capoeira — a Brazilian art form, ballet, belly dancing and strength building.
After a successful year, Burke is making plans for the future, which consisting of a possible expansion, more workshops — including an art workshop where students make greeting card collages — and setting up retreats to bring in people from other communities for various activities.
Burke teaches three types of Zumba and wants to connect with Friday Harbor Elementary School, Spring Street and home-schoolers to offer her dance classes as an alternative to regular physical education classes.
From Dec. 15 – 31, Burke is offering free Zumba classes in exchange for a can of food, which will go to the Food Bank. Last year she collected 1,000 cans of food.
She is also working towards her certification to teach new classes like Nia — a blend of dance, martial arts and healing — and a yoga class called “control-Alt-Stretch,” which is geared toward people who spend their days behind a desk.
For Burke, the best thing about teaching is the joy on her students’ faces, especially first-timers. She said a week does not go by that she doesn’t receive a compliment on the studio or the teachers.
“It is a really great feeling to see a vision come into reality,” Burke said. “It has been really nice to see so many people and different things come together, and we’re still evolving.”
To sign up for the XYZ newsletter or for more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 317-7178 or visit www.xyzmovementarts.com.