INspiring the Lansing Community and Beyond
The Lansing area is budding with talented individuals working tirelessly to expand the reach of capital-area culture in all types of artistic styles and forms. One local company that specializes in the art of movement is Okemos’ INstitute of Dancers.
Offering classes in hip-hop, contemporary, heels, ballet and jazz technique, the INstitute of Dancers, led by Glenn Douglas Packard and his team of celebrity guest choreographers, provide aspiring dancers with the tools and the guidance to reach their top level of performance. Company members range from the ages of 9 to 23 and the INstitute provides a focus on preparation for the commercial dance industry.
Kyrah McPherson is a Lansing resident, former member of the Michigan State University dance team and a current senior member at the INstitute of Dancers who believes that being a part of the company has greatly affected her capabilities as a performer.
“My experience at the INstitute has been one of great growth and improvement as a dancer. Here, I’ve stripped down my dance ability and really improved in many of the areas I’ve been critiqued about for years; here at the INstitute, some of these things have finally clicked,” McPherson said.
Aside from the substantial improvements in McPherson’s dancing, she has gained many emotional benefits from the INstitute as well.
“Dancing at the INstitute has resparked my love of dance,” McPherson said of the company. “It is so refreshing to have a place to go where everyone is really just there because they love to dance and want nothing more than to surround themselves with others who are as dedicated to their professional dreams of dancing.”
Packard – the Emmy-nominated choreographer, creative director and CEO of the INstitute of Dancers – describeed the company’s ambitions as being very passionately devoted to the Lansing area.
“We want to bring commercial dance to the Mitten State and educate our dancers and other people about the styles that come with it; to give dancers the right tools, techniques and knowledge to succeed in their professional life; to give Michigan dance access to some of the biggest names in choreography… and to accept all types of people and be unique individuals,” he said.
The INstitute of Dancers’ company motto is “Don’t tell people your dreams, show them,” and McPherson is one example of how being a part of Packard’s dance company has changed her view of pursuing dance as a career.
“Dancing no longer feels like some far-fetched dream of mine. The INstitute has given me the confidence to go for the things I want in life,” McPherson said. “I’ve realized that you can’t just wait until you feel ready to pursue your dreams. I know that I can get there with the right direction and the right amount of hard work. At the INstitute, I am learning so much about who I am as a dancer today, and I know that I have the ability to see this dream through.”
If you’re considering a professional career in the dance world and are looking for a community in which you can fine-tune your skills, then the INstitute is the right place for you. For more information on how to become a part of the INstitute of Dancers, visit the website at glenndouglaspackard.com/thein/.
The INstitute is at 3448 Hagadorn Road, Suite D, in Okemos. The phone number is (989) 330-8005. You can follow them on the YouTube channel Glenn Douglas Packard’s the INstitute of Dancers, the Facebook page Facebook.com/theINstituteof Dancers and on Instagram @theinstituteofdancers.