Q&A with Owner Patricia Mallett-Edlin of Unique Technique Dance Studio

What is your background, and what inspired you to open a dance studio? 

I am Patricia Mallett-Edlin, the owner of Unique Technique Dance Studio (UTD). I have wanted to be a dancer and open a dance studio since I was 4 years old. I opened our facility in the Irongate area in 2017 and the studio will be 6 years old in January. 

I’ve attended many training programs; I attend the Dance Masters of America Dance Teacher Training School at the University of Buffalo in New York, and I am nationally certified with their program, as well as many others. Over the years I have studied under some of the most famous dancers and choreographers in the industry, including Twitch (Ellen’s DJ), Julianne Gibson (Janet Jackson’s choreographer), and many more!

Photo by Bailey Erickson Photography

Do students have to be serious dancers to participate in classes at Unique Technique? Why or why not?  

At UTD we cater to everyone, and we have classes for walking babies to adults! Any body type and gender– that is so important to me.  Growing up in a ballet studio, I was never the best, or the thinnest, and it was hard. The only time I ever thought about quitting was when someone was unkind or judgemental. 

UTD offers classes in hip hop, ballet, tap, jazz, baby dance, Broadway, burlesque, belly dance, hula hooping, groove dance, pole, and more. Our mission is to instill a love for music and movement through positive energy. Along with that is most definitely to encourage confidence and self acceptance. 

What do you think adult students have to gain from taking a dance glass? 

When I started the studio, it was geared towards children specifically. After hosting a few adult classes, I realized that adults need dance classes almost more than the kiddos. Now our adult classes are always full! There are very few times in our lives where we can truly let go of our stresses, and getting out of your head and into your body is the best way. 

Photo by JASRU Photography

I also see a lot of adults that have taken dance classes as a child, really loved it, and found adult dance classes hard to find until UTD. I really see myself in these specific dancers; most young girls want to be a dancer or ballerina at some point, and if I hadn’t stuck with my dream, I would be another adult desperate to find an outlet for my love of dance. After COVID, I see more and more adults looking for a healthy, fun outlet, and I believe we are just the place for them!  

Your website includes the phrase: “We want you to keep dancing because you love it, not because you have to.” Could you elaborate on this? 

Our classes are monthly or session-based commitments only. I think life (especially over the last few years) is too unpredictable to force long-term commitment. I want students coming to classes because they LOVE it, not because they have to pay for it either way.   

We are a small business; I want to be compassionate with my dancers. Dance has always been more than a career, more than “work.” It has helped me through the hardest times of my life. When I do that for others– bring them happiness, relief, and fun– that is when my dream comes to fruition! 3815 Bakerview Spur, Ste. 1, Bellingham, uniquetechniquedance.com