LEWISBURG — After a delayed opening due to COVID-19, Maria’s Studio celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 15.
Maria’s Studio, located at 12 W. Dayton St. directly off of N. Commerce St. in Lewisburg, focuses on belly dancing which is taught by Maria Flaherty
“I wanted to create a space where belly-dancing could be appreciated and women could come and just relax, enjoy some camaraderie and learn a new art form and so far we’re loving it,” Flaherty said during the ceremony. “I’m having a great time.”
Flaherty said that belly dancing has been a passion of hers for years.
“Oh, I’ve been interested in belly dance for over 10 years and I’ve been dancing for 10 years,” she said. “I’ve taken all kinds of different classes, so I know different types of belly dance, and my style is fusion. It’s a mixture of everything.”
Belly dancing is the focus of Maria’s Studio, but she offers many other services that you may be hard-pressed to find locally.
“I offer spiritual readings; that’s palm readings, angel card readings. I do natal charts, which is astrology,” she said. “And I’m working right now on getting my Reiki certificate, so I’ll be offering that here soon.”
While Maria’s Studio is just now getting around to a ribbon-cutting ceremony, it had initially been in the works for early March before COVID-19 shut down much of the country.
The studio has since opened up and resumed classes in June, but Flaherty said that it was tough having to close the doors to Maria’s Studio before they even opened.
“You know, it was a little tough, but I stuck through it and I kept everyone aware of what was going on that was interested in taking classes,” she said. “The classes have been full and lots of fun.”
Many local businesses across the country have been forced to shutter their doors in the past few months, and Mandy Pahl, Vice President of the Lewisburg Chamber of Commerce and President of Lewisburg LIFE, is glad to see a business grow during a time like this.
“We’re just happy to have another business to grow our economy and our community because that’s what it’s all about here as our community,” she said.
Despite the opening of the studio happening later than anticipated, Flaherty said she has received great support from the community.
“This town is the best town in the whole world,” she said. “Everyone is just — the community is just amazing, and my friends are here and I’m making new friends every day, people I didn’t even know that lived here and it’s just a wonderful community.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @BradenMoles