Genell Price is the founder and creator of Priceless Dance Productions in South L.A. For the past 13 years, she has continued to encourage her students and build their confidence through dance.
Price has been dancing since the age of four. She was inspired to start dancing by her brother.
“I was jealous of my brother,” said Price. “He would come home and do all of these cool tap moves and I’m like how did he do that? I wanted to do everything my brother was doing.”
Although sibling rivalry is what led Price into the world of dance, her inspiration and teaching style comes from the legendary Ms. Blackwell.
“Her [Ms. Blackwell] focus was to educate us so that we knew enough to speak the language and pass it on to somebody else,” said Price. “That was her main focus, teaching us the basics. That way, wherever we went, we knew what they were talking about when it came to dance class.”
At one point in her life, Price was teaching dance to ten different schools at the same time.
In 2008, Blackwell shutdown the studio giving everyone a two weeks’ notice. During that same year, Price had been discouraged from continuing to make a living off being a dance instructor. Many people thought she was not going to be able to make an honest living. As a result, Price began applying for other jobs and later found herself in the field of social work.
While Price was working as a social worker, she was inspired to create dance activities for the children.
“These kids were underprivileged, they were on drugs and had prescribed medication and stuff like that,” said Price. “I thought, instead of drugging them, maybe we can give them an extracurricular activity like dance and see how they like it.”
Soon, Price became more passionate about creating the dance then working on her documentation. After ten months, she was ready to throw in the towel. Her supervisor was understanding and encouraged her to continue teaching dance.
Later, Price became a work study student at Lula Washington Dance Studio. Price taught at the dance studio for two years before leaving.
In 2003, Price launched, Priceless Dance Productions in South Los Angeles. The dance production teaches children ages 3-12 tap, ballet jazz, hip-pop, salsa and more. Price is also looking into incorporating baton and gymnastics into her classes.
“If we have a client who wants us to do something in particular then we do it,” said Price. “Praise dance is something we have been requested for before. So, we are very versatile when it comes to the different genres. We have to be open because the objective of Priceless is to be a reflection of the community.”
Aside from learning new dance routines and lessons, Price also wants her students to take away life skills from her classes.
“I want them to be confident, fearless and social,” said Price. “I teach them to hold their head up, to make eye contact, to speak up, to have posture, to be poise and all of those things that dance provides. I make sure that they learn how to take constructive criticism and risks.”
One of Priceless’ star students Sanai Victoria, has been able to use dance as a way to condition her body, increase her memorization skills and her confidence.
“I get so emotional talking about her, she is so great. She can do everything in the arts,” said Price.
Recently, Sanai Victoria’s acting career has taken off having appeared on the Freeform television series “Blackish” and is currently working with filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry.
Outside of Priceless, the founder and creator teaches dance at other schools. In fact, Price is partnering with Creative Learning and Christian Child Care Development Center in Inglewood.
What’s next for Price?
She would like to extend her services to surrounding private institutions including churches, schools and afterschool programs that are looking for independent contractors. She also has big plans for Priceless Dance Productions.
“I want to have 150 students. I aspire to have these students so that I can have dance recitals,” said Price. “I can see Priceless having 120 students by 2020 because we have that solid foundation now.”
Parents interested in enrolling their children in Priceless Dance Productions can visit the for-profit organization KAOS Network every Saturday between 9am and 12 noon or call Price at (424) 750-6053.
Price encourages other young women who are thinking about starting their own business to learn how to be happy for themselves and to be patient.
“Not everyone is going to be happy for you. The people you think will be happy for you the most probably won’t. If you do something good, reward yourself. It is the only thing that is going to keep you in good hopes,” said Price.