Center Stage Dance Studio: Mitchel Federan tells the story of his family


The studio has survived COVID in part thanks to its manager, Mitchel Federan, 30, prioritizing the business his mother opened in 1988 over his own dancing career.

NORTHFIELD, Ohio – 30 by Mitchel Federan dancing has kept him in the limelight since he was a child.

In 2003, at just 12 years old, Federan starred in the Broadway musical ‘The Boy from Oz’ alongside actor Hugh Jackman – yeah, we’re talking x-men Wolverine Hugh Jackman.

“I was more or less born into dancing,” says Federan.

He’s not kidding. Federan’s mother, Sherry, started Center Stage Dance Studio in 1988 in Northfield Village. Three years later, Federan made his world debut.

“As soon as she had me, I was more or less living here at the dance studio,” Federan explains. “As soon as I could walk, I danced.”

The Solon native used all the training he received at his mother’s studio to lead him in his professional career as an actor, dancer and choreographer.

When COVID hit, Federan made the decision to move back to Ohio from Los Angeles to help his mother keep the studio going during the pandemic.

“I came back thinking, ‘Oh, I’m just going to help out for a few weeks,'” Federan shares. “But I realized at that point that either I was taking over the studio or maybe the studio was going to have to close as well.”

Prioritizing the family business over his professional career, Federan took over the management of Center Stage, enabling the dance studio to continue preparing its students to be centered on the stage of life.

“Even though I won’t be dancing in the future, I think dancing here at Center Stage has given me the tools, like leadership and collaboration, that will help me in whatever I do,” says Anderson Talley, who has danced at the studio for four years.

Now entering its 35th year, Center Stage has grown from a small studio with one instructor and 50 students to a large program with 20 teachers and 500 students…including my daughter.

The studio offers classes covering several dance genres for different ages, as well as adult hip-hop classes taught by professional dancer and choreographer Ryan Rosinski.

“One of my favorite things about dancing and teaching here is that it’s so welcoming,” says Rosinski, who has taught at Center Stage for nearly a decade. “If you want to be someone you’ve never danced before, they have classes for you. If you want to be a pro, they have classes for you.

Rosinski was kind enough to give me a taste of what I would experience taking her dance class. The lesson and Rosinski were both high energy and fun. At the end of the class, I was able to resume the choreography and enjoy 30 seconds to live my never-realized dream of being a “real dancer”.

Wiggins showed off some of those dance moves live on GO! Wednesday morning, which you can watch below:

The template for Center Stage this year is “Dance For Each Other”.

Federan says the instructors try to instill in every student that dancing is not a selfish sport, but an art form they should share with others to connect. It’s a lesson he embodied through the sacrifice he made to return home to northeast Ohio so the studio could stay open for many years to come.

“It’s such a fulfilling feeling. It’s so much more rewarding than dancing alone on a stage,” says Federan. “This feeling that I am able to do this for all the kids that are here and want to be here and still have this at home. I’m really happy to have been able to take over at that time.

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