Serving the community since 1922

Christmas to come alive on stage

Planet Dance Studio will host its annual December recital, "Sleigh Ride," on Saturday, Dec. 3. It will be the first Christmas theme for the school since 2002.

"We are producing 18 different routines. Every year we put on an amazing performance for all to enjoy while showcasing our talented students," said studio director Jacob Hernandez.

The dancers have been practicing every week since February.

"All the dancers have been working very hard and will shine on stage with their one-of-a-kind custom-made costumes," said Hernandez.

The audience can expect to see tap, ballet, jazz and hip hop genres at the show at the Shafter High School auditorium..

Hernandez anticipates a large crowd.

"We usually have anywhere from 500 to 700 people attend to see these girls give it their all."

This year Planet Dance Studio will celebrate its 20th anniversary. "We have touched the lives and taught dance to thousands of students, instilling in them a passion for the art we cherish so much," said Hernandez.

The studio is run by Hernandez and his mother, Corine Matera. Hernandez has danced for 30 years.

"I absolutely love my choice of career and the opportunities it has given me. Our dancers keep me motivated to continue to bring my best to our students and community year after year," Hernandez said.

"We are super proud to get to the 20-year mark and go another 20 years."

The organization has four dance instructors. Together they have over 100 years of dance expertise.

"All of our instructors have a passion for teaching, and they bring that positive energy to the classroom to ensure that all of our students have fun while learning not only dance but leadership as well," Hernandez shared.

Time management, responsibility, commitment and dedication are all life skills that students take away from their dancing experience.

Hernandez said what he likes most about the school is that the students are eager to learn.

"It is such a joy to work with them. They are so excited to be here."

He said teaching them a dance routine and then watching them execute it is very rewarding.

Currently, there are 70 students enrolled in the school. Any boy or girl ages 4 and up can participate. Fees are affordable to make dancing accessible to everyone.

Hernandez said about the Christmas-themed recital, "As the year comes to an end, we invite the community to join us for an evening of entertainment and celebration. It will be a night to remember."

Tickets for Sleigh Ride are $25 and can be purchased at the studio, 641 F St. Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 661-240-5924.


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