Stevie Hagen has taken an immense step forward with her business, Creation Dance Studio.
The longtime Mercer Island resident, dancer and instructor welcomed students into her sparkling new studio for the first day of classes on July 10. The 3,400-square-foot south-end space at 8451 SE 68th St. Suite 210 features a pair of 1,000-square-foot studios that will be bounced upon by a multitude of dancers’ feet from ages 18 months to 88.
Classes on the docket that will be run by six staff members include ballet, hip-hop, jazz, musical theatre, tap, pointe, hip-hop fusion and jazz/lyrical fusion. Parents or guardians may accompany their toddlers up to age 3 in the Dance With Me classes. Fall registration opens on July 15 and information is available at https://www.creationdancestudio.com/.
The new youth program joins the preexisting adult ballet and pointe classes that Hagen, 27, has been offering since 2016. Before her mentor and friend Deena Dunning died of cancer that year, she passed her program on to then-substitute teacher Hagen.
“They adored her. She was amazing. And I had the honor of helping her and teaching for her when she wasn’t able to make it there,” said Hagen, who renamed the program Creation Dance Studio. “I just hope to continue as strong of a community as she was able to create in her program.”
Hagen, who is also a certified pilates and barre instructor, subleased a studio on the north end of the Island until the business she was renting from closed during the pandemic.
“So after that, I was like, ‘OK, I guess it’s time for a new adventure. We’ll see what happens.’ And that’s when I discovered this space and it just felt right and decided to move forward with it,” said a smiling Hagen on July 8 as she glanced at the empty studios that would be filled with dancers two days later.
It’s been 25 years since Hagen first daintily stepped onto a dance floor during tap classes on the Island with instructor Camille Chrysler. Fast-forward to high school and she was training at Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) and later earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in dance from Cornish College of the Arts.
At PNB, she performed in “The Nutcracker,” “Hansel and Gretel” and more, and at Cornish she added another dance element to her repertoire by delving into choreography. Looking back over her career, Hagen feels it’s funny that she strutted through the gate with a huge love for hip-hop and ended up twirling toward ballet as her main passion.
“I originally had planned to audition for professional ballet companies during my senior year. And then I realized how much I loved teaching. And I was like, ‘You know, this is the direction I’m supposed to go,’” said Hagen, noting that she felt her calling to be an instructor while participating in a teaching methods class during her senior year at Cornish. While teaching her peers, everything clicked, and she’s never looked back.
Through teaching dance, it’s an honor for Hagen to witness kids and adults thrive while expressing and challenging themselves in her positive, safe and supportive environment.
“I’m so excited to be able to bring and provide a place for kids to be able to discover their passion for dance as well on Mercer Island, just like I did,” she said.
With that being said, Hagen laced up her ballet shoes and strolled into one of the studios for a look around as the Reporter’s camera clicked away.
For the studio’s full COVID-19 policies, visit https://www.creationdancestudio.com/covid-19.