Flair Dance Company Set to Open in Downtown Collingswood


Christina Dunnington of Hamilton launches her dance studio in the former Main Street Realty building early next month.

By Matt Skoufalos | August 25, 2023

Christina Dunnington of Flair Dance Company. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

Growing up as a ballerina who cross-trained in cheerleading, tumbling, and competition dance, Christina Dunnington almost had her performing arts career cut short in her adolescence.

At 14, Dunnington sustained an injury that required major surgery to correct, and a physician told her that her movement might be limited forever, never mind the prospect of dancing.

At Towson University, however, Dunnington learned “how to dance in a new body,” and everything changed.

Earning her bachelor’s degree in dance performance and choreography, she was guided along by instructors like Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell, who spent 30 years as a principal dancer with the renowned Alvin Ailey Dance Company before becoming the artistic director at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

By learning to work within her physical limitations and listen to her body, Dunnington not only discovered the freedom of movement that had been so meaningful throughout her childhood, but the techniques that would support her longevity in the arts as an adult.

“It changed my perspective on a lot of things,” she said. “I never want any of my students to feel the way I felt when I had to go through that  [injury].”

By the summer of 2020, Dunnington had established her own troupe, Flair Dance Company, as part of a festival hosted at FringeArts in Philadelphia. Although the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had put the brakes on performance and auditions, the group poured itself into the show, which ended up selling out the 150-seat venue.

Flair parlayed that momentum into Cracked Nuts, Dunnington’s “modern, interactive, comedic take on The Nutcracker,” which ran at the Bristol Riverside Theater in Pennsylvania. The group followed that up with performances at a festival at Voorhees Middle School last summer.

As she continued to hone her expertise teaching at Powerhouse Dance in Cherry Hill and Diana Alexis Dance Academy in Haddonfield, Dunnington began seeking out a space for a studio of her own. When she toured the former Main Street Realty offices on Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, her mind was made up quickly.

Christina Dunnington inside Flair Dance Company in Collingswood. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

“This is such a great spot, I couldn’t pass it up,” Dunnington said. “Everyone has been so welcoming, and so helpful.”

Flair offers adult classes from Monday through Saturday on a drop-in basis through the Mindbody app. Dunnington’s roster of teachers also provides supplemental dance training for teens, and classes for children aged 3 to 16, in a variety of styles. She wants students to feel welcome at Flair regardless of wherever else they dance, or whatever styles they want to pursue.

“I don’t want to be a studio where people feel like you only have to dance here,” Dunnington said. “It’s really important to work with different teachers, and we have a great team of teachers ready to go.

“I can find a place for anyone,” she said: “beginner, intermediate, advanced. I’m also planning to create a professional company to be able to train with dancers who are looking for that.”

In addition to dance and choreography instruction, Dunnington also envisions her studio housing recitals, video shoots, and other community gatherings. Her primary interest is in establishing an inclusive space that welcomes guests of all ages and ability levels.

“I take anyone and everyone,” she said; “anyone who has danced in the past and is looking to retouch with that. People who maybe have never danced before. People who are looking to dance professionally.

“I don’t ever want to turn people away,” Dunnington said. “I think everyone should be allowed to find the joy in dance. It brings a lot of happiness to a lot of different people.”

Flair Dance Company will welcome its new neighbors with a free day of dance Wednesday, August 30. The first official day of classes will be Monday, September 11.

The studio is located at 730 Haddon Avenue in Collingswood. For more information, call 609-802-9834 or visit the business website or social media accounts.

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