The former Fitness Shack, 5441 Main St., has become a center for the creative arts. This follows the decision made by Renee Mason and David Faulkner, business and building owners, to pursue other opportunities.
When they learned of the possibility, Deborah Lambdin and her partner Kerry Wellstein expanded their nine-year-old business, Create to Sylvania, last February. They opened studios for art classes and camps on the second floor of the building for both children and adults.
At the same time, Kinsey Van Druten and Natalie White leased the kitchen space on the first floor to open commercial kitchen operations for Plants on Tap and the Cake Library. Natalie White operates her gluten-free bakery, the Cake Library, in the commercial kitchen.
In addition, Carolyn Savage and Dr. Stephanie Cole were looking for an appropriate location for Toledo Met. “I talked to my friend Renee who agreed to offer ballet classes through the Fitness Shack until we were ready to open earlier this month,” Savage said. “We are very happy to share the space with Create, the Cake Library, and Plants on Tap. And, these women-owned businesses are very good for us, as well. We have a lot of synergy and can collaborate together to offer parties and more,” Lambdin added.
Toledo Met offers performance training
When a door seems to close, a window of new opportunity usually opens. This adage certainly applies to Toledo Met founders Carolyn Savage and Stephanie Cole. The two had been active parent members of the guild leadership board at another ballet studio. But after a major transition at that studio, the two parents realized their children and other dancers were not going to receive the training they desired.
“I also wanted to expand our offerings to include comprehensive musical theatre training, which is not readily available in the area,” Savage stated.
With space secured, nine teachers, most from the former studio joined the staff of Toledo Met to offer a performance training facility with a singular focus on a student-centered educational approach for ages 3 to 22.
Summer dance classes include ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary. There are also athletic resilience training, youth yoga, acting, and acting for singers classes scheduled weekly.
An array of camps and clinics are also featured including a Musical Theater Camp; Dance Exploration Camp; Mind/Body Performance Edge Clinic; Ballet Variations, Pointe and Pre-Pointe Clinic; Acting for Teens; and Nutcracker Exploration Camp.
A Ballet Intensive with Renato Penteado is planned for July. Earlier in June, a Ballet Intensive was held with Lauren Fadeley Veyette and a Musical Theater Intensive featuring Broadway veteran Michael Lang, voice instructor Liz Baldwin, and dance expert Maria Jacoby.
“In the fall, we will hold classes after school and on the weekends,” Savage said. “We plan to produce a storybook ballet next winter, a showcase for students in the spring, and a summer 2023 musical.”
Create Art Studio + Workshop is place for kids to ignite a passion for the arts
Create partners Deborah Lambdin and Kerry Wellstein have been holding classes and camps for children and adults in Perrysburg for the past nine years. “We have been busting at the seams and needed to expand,” Lambden said. “Sylvania was the logical place for us to go, and this space is perfect for us.”
“We keep our family-style studios small and intimate and try to limit classes to eight,” Lambdin stated. “We partner with parents to help kids get engaged and tap into their creative selves. And we offer a safe place for kids and adults to unplug, be creative, and be excited about what they create. It is so rewarding to see when kids and adults ignite that passion for art.”
According to Lambdin, basic techniques are taught but there is an abundance of creative freedom. She and Wellstein have art backgrounds and teaching experience.
Create offers over 20 theme camps including Everything Princess, Creative Book Writing Adventure Camp, Dino Camp, Dollhouse Design, Advanced Drawing, and many more. Some of the classes offered include a Toddler Time Workshop, Summer Drawing Club, Farmers Market Drawing and Doodling 101, Summer Art Club, Story Art Adventure, and more.
In addition, Kati Hunt offers “Just think,” a learning lab for children ages 5 to 12 and above. Critical thinking, creative writing, book writing, book clubs, journaling and illustrating are workshops offered through this lab.
Create also hosts birthday parties, family paint parties, showers, scouting events, girls’ night out, and more for adults and youth.