South Tucson ballet studio makes dance accessible to all

Updated: Jun. 4, 2019 at 5:50 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Practice makes perfect. It matters with each pointed toe and every turn.

“When I’m on the stage I feel uplifted,” said Kaila Stoglin. She said it takes hard work to get things right and that her studio is her second home. “I’m really attached to this place.”

When she's in class, her typically shy demeanor changes.

"I like it because I can show certain emotions that I can't show to certain people," Stoglin said.

Those feelings are common among all students at Dancing in the Streets.

But before a decade ago, kids that lived in the area couldn't have these feelings at all.

"We noticed there was no ballet south of 22nd," said Joseph Rodgers. He and his wife, Soleste Lupu are former dancers themselves. They started the studio because they saw a need in their South Tucson community.

"Even though everyone kept telling us those kids don't want ballet, you're crazy," said Lupu.

Their full classes over the years prove otherwise.

Dancing in the Streets ballet studio (Source: Gray Media)
Dancing in the Streets ballet studio (Source: Gray Media)

It's made a difference outside of the studio for students like Elvis Hernandez.

"An after school activity has improved my grades a lot," Hernandez said.

For many of these kids, help comes in more ways than one.

“A lot of our families can not afford classes,” said Rodgers. He and his wife said that shouldn’t hold kids back from dancing. Their studio is also a non-profit.

Scholarships and fundraisers keep students moving.

"We're like their kids to them," said Stoglin. Her teachers serve as role models for her. She's been dancing her whole life.

“Them helping me out,” Stoglin said. “It helps my family out.”

Because of that help, Stoglin said there’s no end in sight.

"If I did something else, it wouldn't be the same," said Stoglin.

She’ll continue dancing with her heart, across the floor and now throughout her career.

Rodgers and Lupu said they would like South Tucson to get a performing arts center. They said it would help the community get a dance company so dancers can continue their dance careers here at home.

For more information on Dancing in the Streets, you can visit their website at

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.