QUALITY MUSIC AND DANCE
Celebrating 20 years of spreading the joy of music, and now, dance
Muffy and Wayne Hoover
Twenty years, two decades, 240 months or 7,300 days-count the years as you will, and that is the amount of time Quality Music and Dance has been spreading the joy of music to South Hampton Roads families!
Owner Wayne Hoover, a Deep Creek native, grew up singing with his mother, Brenda V. Hoover, and family. They would put on plays and musical performances during the holidays. One day Wayne came home and said that he and his brother, Paul, were going to form a band with a neighborhood friend. Brenda told her boys that they needed lessons, and within that week, they were on their way. "I, like so many others, owe my mother a big 'thank you,' for I would not be here today if she had thought of our band as just a whim," Wayne shares.
Beginning in 1985, Wayne began working in retail sales and management, all the while giving music lessons, and thus found his true passion.
Students in Master Class learning dance steps from the Tony award-winning Broadway musical, 'Annie'
"It doesn't seem like 20 years have passed since I opened my first little store with one small lesson studio," Wayne reminisces. "I guess that saying that if you do something you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life is true."
"And now we have two locations, and we've added dance and preschool music classes, too," Wayne says with a smile. "I remember the first time that I had a parent come in with her daughter. She said they wanted to buy a violin. She looked down at her daughter and said, 'This is Mr. Wayne, and when mommy was your age, grandma bought my first violin from him, too.' Wow! I was so happy to hear that, and in that moment I really understood, more than ever before, how we touch lives and families more than we ever know, and how fast time truly does move. I feel really blessed by all our customers who have turned into family as they have made Quality Music and Dance a tradition."
"If you do
something you love,
you'll never have to work
a day in your life."
- Wayne Hoover
Over the years, the business has evolved into what is today Quality Music and Dance Center's 8,000-square-foot flagship store in Glenwood Shopping Center on South Battlefield Boulevard. Quality Music also has a second store in the Princess Anne area of Virginia Beach.
The Chesapeake storefront is filled with musical instruments: guitars, basses, violins, violas, cellos, drum sets, keyboards, strings, reeds, accessories, and racks of music books set up around the showroom.
But the real magic takes place beyond these walls, in the 14 individual private-lesson music studios, two state-of-the-art dance studios, and preschool music classrooms behind the showroom.
Quality Music has a team of seasoned, professional music and voice instructors who can give private lessons on a wide variety of instruments including guitar, piano, drums, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, flute, clarinet, saxophone, mandolin, and banjo. "The only exceptions are the bagpipes and the harmonica," Wayne says laughing.
Wayne and his wife, Muffy, also offer Music FunTime Preschool music classes, a theory-based program specifically geared toward toddlers as young as 18 months and children through age seven. The program, which is based on research by Johns Hopkins University, uses games, crafts, and activities designed to teach young children how to read music and play an instrument.
The location on South Battlefield Boulevard was opened in 2012, an expansion to the business that provided enough studio space to offer dance lessons. Today, the business has a large repertoire of dance classes: creative movement classes for toddlers, ballet, combo tap and ballet, jazz, hip hop, acro and adult ballroom dance classes.
"All of our music and dance teachers have professional experience and/or a college degree," Wayne explains. Dance classes average between six and eight students.
"We keep them small because we believe it's important for our students to get individualized attention from their dance teachers," Muffy says. "We try to build a sense of family in our classes and provide several opportunities for them to perform each year. All of our music and dance teachers are compassionate, and take pride in their craft and in helping kids build their self-esteem. They push their students to achieve their dreams," she affirms.
Muffy really likes to get to know the students. She greets all the kids by name, asks about their day at school, and follows up on their events. The kids have formed a connection as well, sometimes insisting on giving her a hug before they go home.
Wayne and Muffy also organize field trips that expose students to professional dance opportunities. Over the years, they have taken their students to New York City to see Broadway productions of Disney's "Aladdin," as well as "Stomp," a percussion dance production, and to a performance by the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.
Each of these trips included a Master Class with one or more of the cast members of the productions, as well as Q & A sessions and tickets to the performances. In some cases, the Quality Music and Dance students got a back stage tour. The one-on-one meetings bring all the learning and conversations together, and a life in dance becomes reality.
When the touring Broadway musical "Annie" came to Norfolk in November, Wayne and Muffy arranged for cast member Mackenzie Perpich to conduct an onsite workshop for their dance students.
"It's important for our students to be hands-on. One can talk about what it's like to dance for a living, but to meet these dancers face-to-face and to hear their stories directly from them is so motivating because they are living what our students are dreaming," Wayne points out with enthusiasm.
"To meet these
dancers face-to-face and
to hear their stories directly from
them is so motivating because they are living
what our students are dreaming."
- Wayne Hoover
Quality Music and Dance is always up to something new. This year, Wayne and Muffy are proud to announce the addition of dance performance teams. The two teams - the Sparklers, for ages 5 to 10, and the Dazzlers, for ages 11 to 17 - made their dancing debuts in Virginia Beach's December Holiday Parade at the Beach.
"These are not competitive teams," Wayne says, explaining that he envisions the dance teams performing in local parades and at local festivals, hospitals, and nursing homes as community service projects. "We consider this a community outreach initiative, which is one of our priorities for 2017."
"We asked these girls to commit to practicing every Saturday morning for the next year," Muffy says. "It's a huge commitment, and will require a lot of extra time and practice. But it's a wonderful opportunity for them to share their talent, dedication and love for their community."
Shannon Pellerito, 18, an Old Dominion University freshman dance major from Chesapeake, says Quality Music and Dance shaped her life.
"I started taking lessons at Quality Music and Dance when I was 14, after seeing the dance team perform as a freshman at Great Bridge High School," Shannon says. She aspires to dance professionally.
She credits her four years of intensive classes for her success on the dance floor thus far, making the ODU dance team on her first audition.
"Most dancers start earlier than I did, but the teachers didn't make me feel like I was too far behind, and they let me know it was still possible to succeed," Shannon explains. "They give students the individualized attention to make the corrections needed but they make it fun for everyone, while also giving a reason for pouring one's heart and soul into dancing. Quality Music and Dance has definitely made a difference in my life," she adds with enthusiasm.
Quality Music and Dance Center
717 S. Battlefield Boulevard
Chesapeake, VA 23322
3809 Princess Anne Road
Princess One Shopping Center
Virginia Beach, VA 23456