FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
Aaron River, second from left, gives tips on how to do a front roll while teaching a breakdancing class at Chapkis Dance Studio in Suisun City, Saturday.  The dance studio was offering free classes all day to celebrate ten years as a company and one year in Suisun City.  (Daily Republic-Adam Smith)

Aaron River, second from left, gives tips on how to do a front roll while teaching a breakdancing class at Chapkis Dance Studio in Suisun City, Saturday. The dance studio was offering free classes all day to celebrate ten years as a company and one year in Suisun City. (Daily Republic-Adam Smith)

Suisun City

Studio celebrates 10 years of dance

By From page A3 | December 09, 2012

SUISUN CITY — The Greg Chapkis Dance Studio has had a lot to celebrate this year.

Just a few months ago, the studio’s hip-hop dance team won second place in one of the Bay Area’s biggest dance competitions, World of Dance. Just weeks before that, the mega and varsity hip-hop crews won fifth and sixth places, respectively, out of hundreds of teams at the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships in Las Vegas.

And Saturday, dancers new and old celebrated a different but similarly important feat: The studio’s 10-year anniversary.

Founder and CEO Greg Chapkis decided to celebrate the day fittingly with free all-day dance classes open to the public.

Before the company moved to its location in Suisun City, it was known as Vallejo Dance Unlimited. Since it moved, the company has gone by Greg Chapkis Dance or simply Chapkis Dance.

But in short time in Suisun City the company has become a powerhouse both because of the number of competitions its won and the number of students it serves.

And the name has become recognizable worldwide, Chapkis said.

The dancers have big plans for the future. They’re planning a showcase/competition called “Collaboration” in April. The hip-hop crew will perform for the Golden State Warriors this season, and the jazz crew will soon head to New York for a competition.

Even at home there’s a lot going on for its dancers. Every month, Chapkis said, the studio will feature a major dance choreographer. On Dec. 17, one of Rihanna’s choreographers, Yusef Nasir, will teach a class at the studio.

For all the trophies and opportunities the studio has, it’s the dancer’s enthusiasm and talent that has kept it alive for 10 years. Young dancers like Craig Chadwick, 11, and Frank Lakeman, 12, are two examples of longtime, faithful Chapkis dancers.

“It’s awesome,” Chadwick said between dance classes. “I love to dance, hang out with friends.”

“It releases anger,” Lakeman added.

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.
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  • BartieDecember 26, 2012 - 11:27 pm

    I saw these guys at the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships. They were absolutely one of the best out there! However, more than that the inspiration for me here is how the studio grew and become successful. I am currently reading this book (http://www.openadancestudio.com/) since I am considering opening my own. I believe this took a lot of hard work and sacrifice just to make it how it is today!

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