A dance studio business Donna Brum started in the basement of her Lansing home has gone on to teach dance moves to thousands of students across Northwest Indiana and the south suburbs, including many who have gone on to have careers in the arts.
Donna Brum Dancers is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Dozens of the Schererville dance studio's alumni will mark the occasion by returning to participate in its annual recital at 6 p.m. June 7 and 3 p.m. June 8 in the auditorium of Morton High School in Hammond.
“Dance has made a real difference in the life of my students,” Brum said. “I’ve witnessed magical changes. Sure it’s great exercise, but it also helps improve socialization skills. And the kids develop the confidence they need as young adults. I think this is what makes me most proud of my years as a teacher.”
Brum's mother, Helen Trigg, always wanted to dance but never had the opportunity.
She passed her passion onto Brum. Trigg dressed her daughter like the child star Shirley Temple, putting her hair in banana curls, and took her by bus to dancing lessons every week.
After tap dancing at many school talent shows, Brum started teaching a variety of artistic genres out of her basement studio in Lansing.
“We outgrew that space and built a new home, also in Lansing, with room for a much larger studio,” Brum said. “Then we made the move to Schererville, which is even larger and has state-of-the-art amenities.”
Her dance studio has taught dance to generations of Region residents, including her own daughters, granddaughters and great-grandchildren.
“It’s not unusual for the early students to bring their children and then their grandchildren here for lessons," her daughter and office manager Sheryl Sudar said. "The Donna Brum dance family is huge, and my mother is a real celebrity in this area. She can’t go anywhere without running into former students or their families.”
Since 2006, the studio has been located just south of Von Tobel Lumber at 2334 S. Cline Ave. in Schererville. That's when she took on former student Tracie Keene, a Columbia College graduate, as a partner.
"Donna has passed her passion for dance to me," Keene said. "She’s my inspiration and mentor, and I’m so proud she’s reached this milestone in her career."
The studio offers lessons in a variety of dance techniques. Its classes have evolved over the years to keep up with changing tastes.
“In the beginning, it was traditional ballet, tap, and acrobatics,” Brum said. “Students now are more interested in hip hop, jazz, lyrical and other forms of dance. We try to keep up with trends, and our award-winning competition teams have performed all over the country.”
For more information, visit www.donnabrumdancers.com or call 219-865-9850.