by Jennifer Stevens
What began as an undergraduate physical education class has turned into a passion and thriving business for Brandon Halleck. Halleck, a Greencastle native and Indiana State University graduate, owns The Dance Studio in Terre Haute, which specializes in ballroom dance. While looking for a physical education class as a freshman at Indiana State, Halleck settled on ballroom dance. He quickly discovered his passion for dance and shortly after began taking lessons in Indianapolis with Barbara Lamb. In 2002, Lamb opened The Dance Studio in Terre Haute and Halleck became a member of the instructional staff. When Lamb retired in 2014, Halleck purchased The Dance Studio and has continued to expand its operations since that time.
photos by Danna Andreas
studio photos courtesy of Brandon Halleck
and The Dance Studio
The Dance Studio offers instruction in a variety of styles including salsa, rumba, cha cha, foxtrot, waltz, and swing among others. Students can opt for private lessons, group classes, or practice parties to try out their newly acquired moves. Halleck recommends a combination of all three for those who want to sharpen their dancing skills. Additionally, students of The Dance Studio also perform at semi-annual dance showcases and some even compete at dance competitions throughout the Midwest and beyond.
Halleck, who originally intended to be a high school history teacher, has received much more from The Dance Studio than the ability to glide across the dance floor. In many ways, he says that The Dance Studio clientele have become like an extended family, while the studio has provided an important social outlet for members of the Terre Haute community. To ring in 2016, The Dance Studio held its first New Year’s Eve party much to the delight of the students. Many of the attendees told Halleck that the party had been the first New Year’s celebration to lure them out in years. To Halleck, the sense of family and community is what continues to propel his vision for the business forward.
In Halleck’s case, The Dance Studio literally led to becoming a new family. Halleck met his wife, Mallory, while teaching dance lessons. Mallory purchased a gift certificate for her parents to learn some new dance moves and later decided to take lessons herself. Brandon and Mallory got to know each other during their lessons, began dating, and later married. In 2011, Mallory also joined the instructional staff and teaches ballroom as well as country dancing. Halleck’s 11-year-old son, Dylan, has also gotten in on the family business and takes lessons at the studio with his dance partner, Riley.
Although Halleck is busy running The Dance Studio with his wife, he hasn’t quit his day job as the Chief Operating Officer at Chances and Services for Youth in Terre Haute. The agency provides services for kids of all ages in Terre Haute and the surrounding area. Each year The Dance Studio sponsors an annual fundraiser to support Chances and Services for Youth. The tenth annual Dancing with the Terre Haute Stars will be held in October of this year, with instructors from The Dance Studio serving as the dance experts and choreographers. To date, the fundraiser has raised over one million dollars to support Chances and Services for Youth. The event is modeled after the popular “Dancing with the Stars” series on ABC.
Halleck is honored to have the opportunity to serve the community through his professional and volunteer ventures. He believes that Terre Haute has embraced his business, just as he has embraced the community. The Dance Studio recently moved to a new location in a historic building in downtown Terre Haute at 1237 Wabash Avenue. Halleck hopes the move increases the visibility of the studio and draws in even more clients. Those interested in taking dance lessons can visit www.danceterrehaute.com for more information. Halleck assures prospective clients that no partners are required and that “the hardest step is the one through the door.”