Connect Studios, formally known as CDA (Connect Dance Academy) was established in Nov 2018 by Kelly Phillips & Michael Skelly.
Both born & bred in Seaforth, Kelly & Michael lived doors from each other in Beech Grove. Both coming from working class families they developed a strong bond, encouraging each other’s passion for Dance & performing. Their passion soon became a reality in a chosen career for them both. Michael has a PGCE in further Education & graduated from the University of Cumbria with a BA honours in Dance & musical theatre. He is currently studying an MA in business management at the University of Liverpool.
Kelly Graduated from LIPA shortly after completing her Dance & Performing Arts diploma at Southport College, with further training at Phil Winstons Stage School.
"After many successful years working abroad, Kelly & Michael found themselves back home, they both shared the same dream wanting to offer affordable professional Dance classes to local children."
Kelly & Michael quickly established themselves in the performing arts world, both securing professional dance contracts worldwide as far as Australia India & America. After many successful years working abroad Kelly & Michael found themselves back home, they both shared the same dream wanting to offer affordable professional Dance classes to local children, as when they were growing up classes were sadly un-affordable for their families, however both Kelly’s & Michael's commitment was rewarded as children receiving scholarships from Liverpool WAC ( Weekend Arts College).
Sharing the same drive passion & ambition they complimented each other perfectly, this was quickly picked up on by local parents & children attending the classes at Rimrose Hope primary school, they soon outgrew the school, demand was high, waiting lists grew longer, no other Dance School in the local area was offering such a low cost varied genre of Dance & Musical Theatre classes. So within 18 months "Connect Dance Academy" was booming, for the first time ever children were being offered scholarships in the local area, this was an important part of Kelly & Michael's business plan to give back to their local community.
With fantastic reviews & the business growing from strength to strength, Kelly & Michael soon realised they needed a studio of their own! After months of hard work & commitment "Connect Studios" officially opened on the 1st Sept 2019. After a stressful 6 weeks refurbishment on a property in Stella Precinct, being let down by bogus floor fitters who received payment but did not complete the work, knowing our tight schedule and the studio had to be ready for our School Summer Camps, the pressure was growing. The parents, children & the local community all pulled together raising money to be able to afford this, with no local funding available, Kelly & Michael have had to fund raise themselves with the full support of local businesses and parents, lots giving up their time & making donations! Both Kelly & Michael have been overwhelmed by the strong community spirit of Seaforth. This proves when a community comes together and unites, anything is possible.
Connect Studios is reaching out into the local community in lots of different ways, recently housing a summer camp with over a 150 children attending for less than £40 per week per child, saving families hundreds of pounds on childcare! Again there was no funding available with Kelly & Michael wanting to show their gratitude and offer this affordable childcare!
Looking back over Kelly & Michael's lives.... Kelly was severely dyslexic and bullied throughout her school days, Michael was overweight and was told he would never be able to have a career in the dance industry, all this aside they have proved all the doubters wrong, with a continuous hard work ethic, passion & self belief, surrounding themselves by the right people, their dreams have now become a reality.
Offering much more than just dance, Connect Studios will change the face of Seaforth for many years to come. Kelly tuned into yoga & meditation to help with her journey, Michael educated himself on nutrition seeking a more balanced & healthy lifestyle, realising the importance and the positive effect it can have! Kelly & Michael realise their potential as role models for younger children in the area wanting to offer so much more than just dance!
Connect Studios is not just a dance studio it is now a health & well-being centre at the heart of a community creating a space where children & adults feel safe to express themselves and pursue their dreams & aspirations. Connect Studios is offering every genre of dance, ISTD exams in ballet tap & modern, boys hip hop, singing & Drama, Musical Theatre, Adult yoga, Mum & baby yoga massage classes, Twinkle Toes ballet from 18 months, Adult Salsa, Samba, "Boxersise" & Fitness, a new class "Yogatism" starting soon catering for children with Autism & special needs.
Connect Studios currently employs 10 part time staff members and we're looking to expand even more in the near future. This is an exciting time for all!! You can call into our coffee shop anytime, healthy juices, food plans & snacks are also available Monday - Saturday!!