Jacque Bernatt

Kim Sheperd and Dustin Loehr, MCC alumnus, had a kindred ideal when they opened RhythmSoled Performance Studio. RhythmSoled is a studio open to anyone of any age or skill level offering a range of classes in multiple disciplines.

The couple first conceived RhythmSoled as a venue to showcase Loehr’s professional career.

“We started this about a year ago just for my storytelling,” Loehr said. “But, we felt that we should be giving back more to the community. That’s when we started the dance studio back in February 2009.”

It was a concept the two artists had envisioned for years.

Their disenchantment with the present performance world fueled their desire to provide a place for their community to learn the art they love.

“We really want to work on connecting all the art forms because there’s such a separation between the arts that it’s detrimental to everyone involved.” Loehr says.

“Our curriculum not only teaches multiple art forms, but how to work with other artists,” Sheperd said.

Sheperd and Loehr set out to make a place in Arizona where people can create, practice, and learn art.

In a downward spiraling economy it would seem at first a fledgling business, such as RythmSoled, would fail.

However, Sheperd and Loehr’s dream has experienced dramatic growth since its birth in February.

“We went from four to over thirty students in five months ranging from ages 2.5 to late 40s,” Loehr said.

The phenomenal growth may be attributed to characteristics making RythmSoled unique to any other studio in the Valley, such as their inexpensive lessons, inclusive policy, or the fact that they offer what they call their “Super Star Program.”

“What makes us really unique is that there’s only one other studio in the Valley that offers special needs classes,” Loehr said.

“That all started because Dustin’s cousin has Down syndrome and wanted to take a dance class, but, then we got involved with the Down syndrome network and enrolled seven or eight more students, most of whom will be re-enrolling,” Sheperd said.

RhythmSoled offers classes in tap, tumbling, ballet, hip hop and singing. The cost is $10 per class.

Also, multiple payment options exist such as the Adult Class Card, which is loaded with 11 classes priced at $100, and the card doesn’t expire.

After competing with hundreds of studios from all over the country, RythmSoled took first in the Hall of Fame dance competition in Palm Springs and the studio is looking forward to their first public productions in the next year.

“Our goal is eventually to create an interdisciplinary arts academy where we can unite the arts, and unite the community,” Loehr said.

Mesa Legend Staff

Mesa Legend Staff

These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.
Mesa Legend Staff

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