Watch CBS News

Former Rockette uses Ferndale dance studio to share talents with Metro Detroit community

Former Rockette uses Ferndale dance studio to share talents with community
Former Rockette uses Ferndale dance studio to share talents with community 02:56

FERNDALE, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A former professional dancer is sharing her talents with the Metro Detroit community.

"I'm a former Radio City Rockette. I was hired in 1997, and I was actually in the original cast when the Radio City Christmas Spectacular opened at the Fox Theatre," said Denise Caston-Clark.

At only 19 years old, Caston-Clark's career took off.

Pictured is Denise Caston-Clark as a Radio City Rockette years ago. Denise Caston-Clark

"I never would have flown to New York City to audition for the Rockettes. I never thought I was good enough. But Radio City was doing an audition tour back in the mid to late '90s, so they were swinging through Detroit, and I said I'll take the morning off from school why not…and here I am (laughs)," she stated.

For ten years, Caston-Clark performed as a Rockette, later teaching at some of the most prestigious dance studios in New York City, including Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway.

She says both were life-changing experiences that eventually led her back to Michigan.

Another photo of Denise-Caston Clark as a Radio City Rockette between the years of 1997-2007. Denise Caston-Clark

"I wanted Detroit to have something like that where anybody, any level from absolute beginner to working professional, can come in and take a class and learn how to dance," said Caston-Clark.

In 2019, Caston-Clark opened "Tap Dance Detroit."

"A space for literally anybody to come and dance no matter who you are or where you're from; if you've ever danced in your entire life, there's a class for you here," she said.

A dance studio for all ages, all levels and even bigger smiles. For Caston-Clark, her passion for paying forward a career that set the bar for her professionally is what she says gives her purpose.

Photographed is Denise Caston-Clark while speaking with CBS News Detroit Reporter Alysia Burgio at Tap Dance Detroit in Ferndale. Alysia Burgio - CBS Detroit

"One of the most rewarding things is to see the growth. The more you do it, the more seasoned you get at it, and they just keep getting better and better and keep finding new fun moments, and that's just part of what's so rewarding about what I do," she stated. "The saying is if you can walk, you can tap dance, so literally anybody is welcome to walk in here," said Caston-Clark.

If you're interested in checking out Tap Dance Detroit, the studio offers many styles of dance, including jazz, Broadway jazz, ballet, Pilates, bar fitness, hip hop, a beginner series to learn basic steps and a youth program.

"Tap Dance Detroit" also offers daily drop-in classes.

Caston-Clark even says sometimes, some of the current Radio City Rockettes from Michigan will swing by to take a class when they're home visiting. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.