A true neighborhood studio, Crescendo Dance Academy offers classes for children, youth and adults, in addition to a competitive dance program and an Artist in Residence program.

A true neighborhood studio, Crescendo Dance Academy offers classes for children, youth and adults, in addition to a competitive dance program and an Artist in Residence program.

Transforming a passion for dance into a profitable business

Community benefits when entrepreneur’s calling becomes a career

Have you ever woken up, glared towards your ceiling and pondered how fantastic it would be to have your passion also become your career or business?

This is exactly the epiphany Katie Saito had as she thought about her next business venture. Katie, or “Mama Katie,” as she is affectionately called within the business and Asian community, first opened a travel agency and import/export trading business in the heart of Seattle’s international district.

After selling both businesses when her first child was born, Mama Katie later opened several restaurants in the Greater Seattle area, selling each when her next two children were born.

Once her children were in school, Mama Katie sought additional activities to keep them active, and this included dance.

As the middle child among eight siblings, Mama Katie couldn’t pursue dance as a child herself, so she was keen to offer her children the opportunity. She enrolled them in dance class as soon as they were in preschool and from that moment, Mama Katie was hooked.

Combining passion for business and dance

As each of her children progressed in dance, so did Mama Katie’s passion for the art, and after 17 years of launching new businesses while also serving as Dance Mom extraordinaire, Mama Katie decided to mix her entrepreneurial skills with her passion for dance.

Mama Katie opened her dance studio, Crescendo Dance Academy, in the heart of the industrial eastside of Bellevue, WA., but while she loved dance, and knew the components of great dancing, how could she teach the students?

That’s where serendipity played a part. Through a timely meeting and mutual friends, Mama Katie met Elbert Lubas. Elbert had been teaching at Seattle-area studios while also serving as the Artistic Director of his own non-profit dance company, Syncopation Dance Project. After sitting down with Mama Katie and her eldest daughter, Kana Saito, Elbert joined the team as adjunct staff member to Crescendo Dance Academy.

Today, a year after Crescendo Dance Academy’s full launch, Elbert is the Artistic Director, while Kana Saito is the Director of Studio Operations. To support the studio’s continued growth, Mama Katie sold her idea and the studio to a young couple from Beijing – Vivian and Sean Tong.

Your neighborhood dance studio

Crescendo is a true neighborhood studio. In addition to classes for children youth and adults, Crescendo also offers a competitive dance program and an Artist in Residence program, which allows new choreographers and dancers free studio space to create new concepts or allow them to create artistically.

Crescendo also sponsors a variety of community events in partnership with Syncopation Dance Project.

Come be part of this awesome community! Crescendo Dance Academy is open daily at 14150 NE 21st St., Bellevue, WA 98007.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Marketplace

Dr. Scott Trapman is accepting new patients at the Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) Federal Way at 31833 Gateway Center Blvd S. (Photo: A. Michael Cole)
There’s no quick fix to quit smoking, but this family doctor still wants to help

Former military doctor now treats Federal Way patients of all ages, helping them stay healthy

Jodi Longley, from CMG Financial
Smart solutions for savvy homeowners

All In One option re-thinks traditional 30-year mortgage

5 reasons to try Eagle Tire and Automotive

From tires to maintenance and repairs, your trusted local source is here

Using acoustic waves to relieve chronic pain

Federal Way chiropractor encouraged by results of recent study

Building resilience into back-to-school planning

CIS Federal Way supports local students in need with supplies and community connections

Healing, growth and community-building for Federal Way’s Black community

FW Black Collective launching new services during online healing event Aug. 21-23

New study: early intervention key to lasting whiplash care

Whiplash pain may resurface years later if left untreated

How the right questions yield smart mortgage solutions

New mortgage or refinancing, find a trusted source with local knowledge and experience

Innovative approach keeps theater at Centerstage

Federal Way theatre company is excited to share season with actors and audiences

Cooking up delicious ideas to keep your annual events happening safely!

Fundraisers and special events ARE still possible thanks to this innovative team

Got your back: Tech innovations bring patients the highest standard of chiropractic care

From ‘party hats’ to powerful diagnostic technology…what to expect from a visit to the chiropractor

Best Pick Reports features a curated list of professionals, evaluated based on thousands of Seattle-area customer interviews.
For a successful home project, trust a professional guaranteed by Best Pick Reports

Free guide gives Federal Way homeowners a wealth of resources, and peace of mind