Level Up Studios.
Hi my name is Mario and I am a Dance Instructor, designer and musician from Buffalo, NY currently living in Pittsburgh, PA. Dance is my number one passion and I am constantly working and training to become better.
Focusing mainly on hip hop and contemporary movement, I offer my clients step by step training on the latest styles within the genre. My goal is to not only help in advancing my students’ talent but also encouraging confidence within their attitude and look on life. Through teaching, I am able to mentor each student on a one on one basis, while helping them build on their strengths. My experience ranges from private lessons and birthday parties to workshops and group classes. I have worked with and taught all age groups and skill levels and I am great with kids, for all the parents out there.
I have also performed in many professional arenas including music videos, corporate parties, festivals and theater. The most rewarding was Pittsburgh’s very own Light Up Night 2013, where I performed in front of thousands of locals in a duet with dancer Chelsea Sebes of Millennium Dance Complex in Point State Park.
Some of the studios I have taught at are Pittsburgh Heat Hip Hop Dance Co, Evolve Dance Complex, and Shape Fitness Center. Currently I am a Teaching Artist for Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s Alloy School, where I teach hip hop to youth ages 8-12yrs, and serve as Choreographer for We Rock Workshop, a residency program lead by Liz Berlin of the multi-platinum band Rusted Root. We Rock Workshop guides young adults (ages 14-22) across Allegheny County who are currently involved with the Department of Human Services to open up through the arts by exploring the creation, production and performance of music and dance. The course culminates with the recording of original songs created by the participants and a final performance at Mr. Smalls Theatre.
Currently, I am Founder/ Artistic Director of Level Up Studios, a creative space that aims to educate, empower and mentor youth utilizing music, design and dance. I have always had a love for the arts, specifically dance, design and music. I wanted to start a business that allows me to work within all my passions, while having the ability to continue to be a mentor and community leader. Level Up is my dream and I hope through this loan I can make this business a reality and further my reach, education and impact on the youth in my community.
“The Creative Playground for the Collaborative Culture”
Level Up Studios is a creative arts studio that offers Dance Instruction, Design & Creative Writing Services, and Urban Apparel under one roof. Inspired by hip hop culture, Level Up will celebrate it’s positive roots and serves as a creative playground for artists and enthusiasts. Level Up Studios is a community resource that offers innovative ways to engage youth and adults along the Penn Ave corridor. Through our retail shop, design center and dance studio, you can purchase clothing, receive graphic design services and expand your knowledge of dance or creative writing while enjoying a unique experience with people of like interests.
Level Up Studios also has a nonprofit summer youth program, in partnership with The Kelly Strayhorn Theater and Sons of the Boogie, known as The Zelda Pito Emerging Artist Fellowship. The Zelda Pito Emerging Artist Fellowship is a 3 week summer intensive designed to use storytelling, dance, poetry, graphic design, emceeing, and creative writing to explore identity construction and the concept of home among Pittsburgh area public high school students. Students will engage in critical dialogues with their cohort, artists, and social change leaders, develop professional networks, participate in group and individual mentoring sessions, and receive support and resources to create new artwork. The 3 week program is broken into 3 developmental levels:, Learn to create, Create to empower, Empower to change. Each student will complete the 3 levels centered around their module of choice (dance, graphic design, creative writing, poetry). Fellows will have the end goal of creating and applying a successful product/ project which will be used as experience and portfolio work toward a desired career.
This loan main uses will be to purchase the following equipment and build-outs for my new retail shop, design center, and dance studio:
Mirrors/ fixtures: $2,000
Sound System: $500
Lighting and Decor: $1500
Having this equipment is extremely important for my business to officially open. This loan will allow me to provide a warm and friendly atmosphere for my clients and guests, and will play a pivotal role in our aesthetic and overall look.