Touch a Dream’s Spring Production – “Love Story”

Terri and Tanisha Shelmon

By Fletcher Word
The Truth Editor

The Touch a Dream Studio presented their annual dance recital on Saturday, May 25 at the Franciscan Center of Lourdes University titled “Love Story.” The studio’s 40 company members, along with an additional 15 dancers, presented 40 dance routines in a variety of dance styles – ballet, jazz, tap, tumbling, hip-hop – for the Franciscan Center’s appreciative audience.

Touch a Dream, now in its 16th year, is ,above all, a family affair. The creative partners, choreographers and co-owners are mother and daughter Terri and Tanisha Shelmon. The studio is sponsored by Terri’s husband/Tanisha’s father, Theodis Shelmon, owner of The Shelmon Group, L.L.C., concrete specialists.

Other family members and contributors to the effort are son Ramone, who is DJ Money Mone; daughter Sharlyn runs Sharlyn Modeling Studio and daughter Kia Shelmon Richardson is in charge of nursing.

Both Terri and Tanisha Shelmon have vast training and extensive experience in a variety of dance styles. Terri brings her background in ballet, tap, jazz and tumbling to the company, while Tanisha specializes in jazz/contemporary, hip-hop, ballet, flexibility and tumbling to the group.

Terri started in ballet as a child and continued in ballet though her college years, gradually expanding her repertoire into other dance forms, particularly tap.

Aaliyah Johnson and Raionna Shelmon

Tanisha also started dancing at an early age and during her college years was chosen to become part of the WNBA Detroit Shock Women’s Basketball dance team – the “Shockwave.” She was eventually selected to be part of the Detroit Pistons Dance team, “Automation.”

Over the years, Touch a Dream has grown to include both a recreational portion, which is open to all comers, and a competitive group that prospective dancers audition for. According to Tanisha Shelmon, the first part of the year – from September to December – is spent in preparation for competition. After the Christmas holiday season, Touch a Dream dancers begin participating in competitions in earnest.

Additional staff includes Chris Robertson as a hip-hop coach; Morgan Russell as a tumbling coach, Carlos Rodela as a coach in the jazz/contemporary, tumbling and tap disciplines. Brandon Allen and Raionna Shelmon assist as guest choreographers with the senior company.

Raionna Shelmon, by the way, is a dancer also with the senior company. She is one of the company’s two graduating high school seniors this year, along with Aaliyah Johnson. Raionna is graduating from Bowsher High School and Aaliyah from Toledo Early College High School. Both young ladies will be attending the University of Toledo in the fall.

This past weekend’s production involved the company’s recreational stars, the mini company, the pre-junior company, the junior company, the preteen company, the teen company and the senior company in the 40 different routines, opening with “Sushi” and closing with the “Finale” and a closing bow to the audience.

The hundreds of audience members in attendance were enthusiastic in their appreciation of the dancers’ efforts in the 40 presentations.