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Tara's Academy of Dance opens in Carrollwood

Tara Drangle knows Tampa dance. She kicked up her heels with the Chamberlain High School Chiefettes in the late '90s. She performed at two Super Bowl pregame shows and spent two years as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' cheerleading squad. Her high kicks took her all the way to Germany for the World Bowl.

Now, she's opening her own studio, Tara's Academy of Dance.

"The body allows you to say what words cannot," said Drangle, who has trained with the Universal Dance Association and the Hoctor Dance Caravan. "It's a form of art like no other, and one can express oneself in so many ways."

Drangle, who spent three years teaching dance with the city of Tampa Gymnastics and Dance Center, said she picked the Main Street Shopping Center in Carrollwood as the location for her new studio because of her connection to the area. She started Carrollwood Elementary School's first dance team, the Showstoppers, and developed a strong rapport with the children and parents.

"I felt so supported by the children, parents, staff and community," she said. "Being that Carrollwood is constantly growing I felt that there were probably many little girls who would be interested in dance."

The Academy boasts two studios, parent viewing areas, spacious dressing rooms and lots of convenient parking. Many forms of instruction are offered, including ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical/contemporary, acrobatics, hip-hop and Mommy and Me classes.

A one-hour weekly class costs $50 a month, with discounts applied when additional classes are taken. Adult classes are $40 per month. There is also a one-time $40 registration fee for all students.

Tara's Academy of Dance is at 11732 N Dale Mabry Highway. For more information on classes and summer camps, call the studio at (813) 964-6886.

Now you see it, now you don't

In what might be one of the quickest turnaround times on Dale Mabry, Elements Restaurant has folded. Replacing the upscale eatery Mangroves North, Elements opened in December. In less than three months, the doors have closed.

Located in the Colonial Promenade strip mall, Elements opened with executive chef Richard Hall at the helm. A month after opening, Hall, formerly head chef at the Florida Aquarium, said he was certain of Elements' success.

"We did a lot of research to see why others struggle here in North Tampa, and we found they were too pretentious and too expensive," he said. "We're offering a classic neighborhood menu focused on our greatest hits."

Despite the chef's onetime confidence, the restaurant is dark and a for-rent sign hangs out front.

Elements was at 3805 Northdale Blvd.

Party store closes

Customers first noticed something amiss at Party Your Way in Westchase in February when store owners reduced all items by 10 to 20 percent. Neighboring retailers said the store's owner struggled to pay the rent. As the month progressed, so did the discounts. As of March 1, patrons found the doors shuttered and the store completely gutted.

Party Your Way was at 12617 Race Track Road.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Contact reporter Sheryl Kay at or call (813) 230-8788.

Tara's Academy of Dance opens in Carrollwood 04/09/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 9, 2009 4:30am]
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