New dance studio to open in Fremont

Jaleiah Bustos,

CSUEB third year student opens family business

Last month at Studio A in the RAW Center at CSU East Bay, Kyra Birks shouted, “In five, six, seven, eight” before starting into her first workout by moving her legs from right-left-right-clap, the Grapevine dance move. Birks’ fellow eight students followed along to her voice and the beat of the song “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar.

Kyra Birks, 20, has been dancing her whole life. Birks’ parents put her in her first dance class when she was three years old. Growing up, her parents always saved enough money so she could dance. Birks, now a third-year CSUEB performing arts major, recently decided that the next phase of her dance career was to give something back to other dancers. She will be opening up her own dance studio, Paradise, on Feb. 23 at Studio 6 in Fremont at 8:30 p.m.

Birks began dancing at Adage Dance Studio in Milpitas — which closed around 2009, according to a post on — until age five and then took a nine-year break to try out other sports like gymnastics, basketball and volleyball. When she entered Milpitas High School in 2011, she left those sports behind and joined the school’s dance team, Jensen School for the Performing Arts and joined Fancy Dancers, a competitive dance team in the Bay Area.

After Birks graduated from Milpitas High School she began attending CSUEB in fall of 2015 and right away began taking dance classes within her major by dance instructors Eric Kupers and Nina Haft. Birks then joined the school’s dance team, Eclectic Pulse, in her first year and has been captain of the team since 2017.

Birks became a licensed MixxedFit instructor on Oct. 30, 2016 in Newark at Oasis Fitness and uses her license to teach MixxedFit at the RAW on Wednesday and Thursday nights. MixxedFit is a dance fitness program that involves exaggerated boot camp inspired exercises and simple dance movements to songs that one would dance to in clubs.

“My mom manages the business and my dad and brother help with producing and music – everyone is running the family business,” Birks told The Pioneer. “We all love music and entertainment so it just made sense to start our own family business.” Paradise Dance Studio (PDS) is under complete family management.

“My mom is head of everything,” Birks said. “She is the business and finance side. I’ve had such great support from my family, no negative feedback, and no doubts – I have the right team behind accomplishing my dream.”

Karen Birks explained the studio selection process. “We were given a special opportunity to rent space at this location. It was not something we formally went after. Truly through some networking, we were approached to come and look at this space in Fremont and after some family meetings decided that we could not pass up this opportunity.”

There are 16 other other dance studios in Fremont.

Paradise Dance Studio sold Paradise t-shirts through and all the profits went into the studio. This fundraiser took place Jan. 28., where the initial goal was to raise $1,000 and they raised $1,011. According to Birks, this money will mainly be used to equip and design the studio.

“The studio isn’t fully designed yet. It’s empty,” Birks said. “The space is two rooms put together with an arch in the middle. One side will be the lounge area for parents watching their kids and the other side will have mirrors in the dance room. Since the studio is called Paradise, it will have a tropical look with palm tree tapestries and bright lights. Starting up a company is not easy, got to start out small. I’m hoping on my opening day people will show up, have fun and would want to come back for more.”

“PDS is a dancers getaway from the real world,” Birks explained. “The reason why I wanted to open up a dance studio is because I wanted to create a space for dancers like me to have a place to be able to express themselves through movement and to escape from their real-world problems and to just have fun. The types of dancers that I’m looking for are hip-hop/jazz dancers and diversity,” she added. “You will all be accepted in Paradise.”