A Manalapan woman has turned her childhood dream into a reality right in the heart of Freehold Borough.
Like most young girls, Erika Aresta-Maiello started dancing when she was 3-years-old. Once she started dancing, she never stopped. She danced in North Jersey and Central Jersey and is still dancing today, but along side young girls with the same dream she once had.
“Ever since I was young I wanted to open a dance studio,” said Aresta-Maiello. “After I graduated from community college I opened a studio in Freehold and have been here since 2005.”
Aresta-Maiello lives in Manalapan and owns Dancin’ On the Edge. The dance studio, located on the corner of Mechanic and South Street in Freehold Borough, offers a range of classes from ballet, jazz and tap to modern, contemporary, and acro-classes which combines basic tumbling with dance. In addition to the studio’s classes, Dancin’ On the Edge also has strong competition teams that represent the studio at numerous competitions throughout the year.
“Our youngest full competition team has students between the ages of seven and ten. Then there is the Junior Team that has students between the ages of 11 and 13, and then we have a 13 and older team. They all compete in four competitions a year. But how involved they are depends on each student. Some kids are in 12 dances, some are in three dances or even one dance. It all depends on how much they want to be involved,” said Aresta-Maiello.
Dancin’ On the Edge also has a mini-competition team that introduces dancers between the ages of five and seven to the dance competition world. According to Aresta-Maiello, the mini team only competes in two competitions a year instead of the usual four the studio competes in.
Outside the studio, Dancin’ On the Edge students also showcase their talent in the Freehold Borough community. They performed in the first ever Freehold’s Got Talent and continuously perform in annual Halloween Spooktacular events – which they are currently preparing for.
“We have been doing Spooktacular for five years now and the girls just love it. It’s a different kind of dance, were not going up in front of judges where we have to do our best, performing for Spooktacular is a relaxed fun thing, where the kids get to dress funny and wear crazy hair and all kinds of stuff. They really enjoy it, and then we follow up with the Halloween parade each year.”
Eight years after openings its doors, Dancin’ On the Edge is still finding new ways to involve those with a love for dance. The studio’s newest addition is an adult Zumba Dance class, which meets on Tuesdays from 7:30 till 8:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:30 till 10:30 a.m. Those interested can come in as a walk-in and pay per class or have the option of purchasing a 10-class pass for $70.
In the future, Dancin’ On the Edge also hopes to start a boy’s only hip-hop class and more adult classes like beginner ballet and jazz.
Currently, Dancin’ On the Edge has received three “five star ratings” on their Patch directory listing. More information about Dancin’ On the Edge can be found on their website, www.dancinontheedge.com.