Shake It Off Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Grooving: 5 Things To Know About Scarsdale’s Popular Play Space - Scarsdale Moms

Article by Margot de Boer for Scarsdale Moms

Whether you’ve attended a birthday party, dropped in to ‘Paint and Bounce,’ or had your sanity saved during the pandemic – when Shake it Off first came onto the Scarsdale scene with its outdoor dance classes – it’s impossible not to take notice of owner Ramya Gunashekar-Allen’s passion for creating insanely fun yet educational experiences.

As Ramya – a former preschool teacher and trained dancer – continues to grow Shake It Off’s programming at its Central Park Avenue studio, she does it all in a way that harnesses a child’s natural curiosity and lets their creativity soar. Ramya stepped away from her busy days in the studio to chat all about the inspiration behind Shake It Off, what parents should know about its offerings, and a peek into what’s new for 2024! 

A Montessori Approach Lets Your Child Take the Lead
Drawing from Ramya’s Montessori background, Shake it Off embraces a child-led approach in all its classes. When each engagement is tailored to a child’s level and pace, it fosters a sense of ownership and can also significantly boost the child’s self-esteem. This approach extends to various subjects, including art, dance & science, creating an environment where learning is personalized and fulfillment is maximized. Shake it Off’s team of educators is trained to offer the right amount of guidance to empower each child to lead his or her own experience. 

Rooted in STEAM, Shake it Off Offers Play with a Purpose
Shake it Off stands out among other spaces and children’s classes in Westchester by anchoring its curriculum in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). Fostering learning through play, this focus on STEAM provides a community space to discover engaging activities that not only entertain but also enrich the desire to learn.

Ramya’s biggest inspiration? Her 5-year-old son Liam: “Liam’s immense passion for science and experimenting with materials is a constant wellspring of ideas. Observing his curiosity and enthusiasm fuels a desire to create an opportunity for other children in the community to discover their passions. We stay closely attuned to educational trends in STEAM and committed to crafting programs that cater to the diverse curiosities of all children.” Take a look at their latest class offerings and pop-up events as Ramya is introducing new ideas often! 

Flexible Programming Means There’s Something for Every Kid and Family 
In addition to its core seasonal class sessions and summer camp, Shake It Off offers activities like mini-camp for kids when schools are closed as well as unique events that vary each month. The studio also offers fun parent and me classes aimed to enhance the bond between child and caregiver, and provide early socialization. There’s truly an option for every kid and schedule need, with offerings catering to ages 6 months to eight years. 

Ballet and Hip Hop are Its Hottest Classes – For Good Reason
Did you know that in addition to Shake it Off, Ramya has also been running her dance school – Mayura Dance Academy – for the last 15 years? Ramya is classically trained in the art form of Bharatanatyam, which she has studied for over twenty years. Recently the Academy was exclusively chosen to showcase at Disney’s first-ever Diwali celebration, where the dance team delivered a captivating Bollywood routine during the parade at Disney Springs and graced the stage at Animal Kingdom! 

It’s no surprise then why Shake it Off’s most sought-after classes are Ballet and Hip-hop. 

With short 6-10-week sessions and a mini recital at the end, Ramya believes in prioritizing convenience for families and a positive, enjoyable experience for children that builds confidence and fosters a love for dance without long-term commitment.

A loyalty program is coming soon! 
Instead of having kids bounce off the walls at home – especially during those cold winter days – take them to Paint and Bounce for an ideal combination of artistic expression and active play! These engaging sessions, offered during holidays, weekdays, and weekends, allow parents to bring their kids in at any time during open hours. Shake it Off will be soon introducing a loyalty program for those who regularly participate. It’s Ramya and her team’s way of expressing gratitude for the continued enthusiasm and engagement from their valued Shake it Off families. 

Next time you see Ramya and her team at the studio, tell them Scarsdale Moms sent you! You can follow along with their Instagram or FB page to keep up with all the latest offerings. 

This post is sponsored by Shake it Off.

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