The sound of two dozen feet tap dancing together in proper time can be a satisfying sound.
On a Saturday morning, about a dozen girls and two instructors tapped together in a small sunlit studio above Crossroads Theatre. The tap class was part of the day's five hours of dance offerings by Body and Music (BAM) School of Performing Arts, a nonprofit, volunteer-run school in New Brunswick.
According to Executive Director Normarie Mclean, the school offers ballet, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, Latin and modern dance. Students can also enroll in vocal instruction and theater classes, and for adults, Zumba is offered.
The school also has a traveling company team that represents BAM at outside performances.
The majority of classes are held on Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. with three classes held each hour, for students ages two to 12, Mclean said. The company team practices and a beginner ballet class are also offered on Monday, according to the school's website.
Previously located at spaces in North Brunswick and Somerset, the school is in its third year of operation, Mclean said. The nonprofit school does not have much of an advertising budget, so all of its students have come through word of mouth, Mclean said.
Those students come from nearby Old Bridge, Piscataway, Plainfield and Somerset, and as far away as Lawrenceville, she said.
According to the school's website, classes are $42 for the first class and $15 for each additional class, with packages of multiple classes priced at lower rates. Mclean said that these prices are affordable for many students, and enables them to take classes in multiple types of dance.
"Most of our kids take two to three classes," she said.
The school is staffed entirely by volunteers, including the instructors, Mclean said."Junior Assistant" high school students aid the instructors in classes.
The year culminates in a full company production. Last year, the school adapted "Alice in Wonderland" and performed it in costume with a full set on the Crossroads Theatre stage.
As the fourth year tap students clacked their way through a U.S.A. themed dance, Mclean said this year's show will be a multi-cultural showcase of performances, with a common theme.
"We all sing, we all act, we all dance...we all appreciate each other through what we have in common," she said.