Connection & Community Through Movement & Dance
“Dancers are the athletes of God.” —Albert Einstein
When Lisa Williams and Melissa Granatier Sabin chanced upon the opportunity to become business partners, the two did not realize the beautiful chaos they would experience and the soulful journey they were about to embark on — together. Taking over a local dance studio, the two had a vision to enhance the dance culture and experience in Saskatoon, creating a space anchored by community, wellness, creativity and inclusion.
The thoughtful process of creating VIBE YXE came from the manifestation of creating a studio that was an extension of Lisa and Melissa. “VIBE is actually an acronym for our core values, which are vitality, inclusion, balance and excellence,” Melissa explains. “We are trying to create a space that supports the whole person. Our dancers and fitness dance community will have access to our massage therapist and we are excited to offer nutrition resources as well. This space is really about supporting and promoting a family environment where children can take a dance class while their parents are enjoying a fitness class at the same time.”
VIBE YXE’s beautiful 10,000 square foot space is situated in Stonebridge, a community that welcomed them with open arms. Their wildly spacious studio first became open to the public in early September as dancers and dance families were invited to tour the facility. Boasting plenty of natural light via a multitude of windows and four large studios — two on each floor — the space is a minimalist dream that’s both airy and inviting.
“Our environment is so huge and we’re very, very proud of it. We want our students and crew to be proud of it too, because you spend a lot of time at your dance studio and you want it to be a reflection of that,” says Lisa, with a contagious smile.
Offering regular dance classes that include ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, pointe, acrobatics and more, VIBE has also included preschool jazz and ballet classes for those minis wanting a head start. Dedicated to offering new and innovative fitness dance options, Melissa and Lisa were keen to keep classes varied to include the wildly popular booty barre, Zumba, and — a first to Saskatchewan — bungee workouts. “The dance fitness programs are all new and we’re pretty excited about those,” Melissa says. “Lisa is also certified in Zumbini, [Zumba for kids ages zero to four and their caregivers], which is a first for Saskatchewan as well.”
As part of enhancing the dance experience and ensuring and inviting atmosphere, Lisa and Melissa wanted to offer both competitive and recreational dance streams. With inclusion as one of the studio’s core values, VIBE has a weekly schedule that offers a full recreational dance stream for kids not interested in competing but still love dance. “This was a big priority for us, to make sure everybody who wants to dance has an opportunity to. We won’t shut anybody out,” explains Lisa.
Dancers who enjoy the competition will be supported and encouraged along the way as they master their skills and abilities. “That excellence piece is there and we’re very competitive, but that depends on the student and the family if that’s an environment they want. But you also have to respect those who want to just come and have fun, and that’s okay too. They’re just as important as those who are competing,” states Melissa.
VIBE YXE’s core values and dedication to their dancers and families extends directly to the instructors and staff. Certified in their areas of expertise, VIBE instructors are not only focused on talent and skill, but also carrying the culture of the studio into each of their classes.
“It was really important to Lisa and I to bring people on our bus who are passionate, good-hearted and certified,” Melissa adds. “The certification is extremely important. Those taking an acro-jazz class should know; we have a teacher who is certified in acro, jazz and flexibility, so our dancers are getting someone who understands every aspect of movement and the body.”
With doors now open to the public, Lisa and Melissa are excited to watch their VIBE community grow as they welcome familiar faces and new dancers to their studio. The VIBE team is truly dedicated to creating a supportive atmosphere for dancers to focus on their health while learning how to treat their bodies in a proper way as athletes. “Our whole value system encompasses that,” explains Lisa “It’s all about movement and growing as a person in a comfortable environment that becomes a community within the dance studio.”
Lisa and Melissa extend a very warm “thank you” to everyone who helped their vision come to life — Harvey & Donna Granatier, Valentino Homes, Haid Construction, Marine Master, Northern Blacktop, all the other sub-trades, and their families for all their hard work and support. They are forever grateful.
For more information, to view class schedules and to register, visit them online.
Vibeyxe Dance Studio
Photos by Lisa Landrie, A Photogenic Life (lisalandrie.com)