Mandy Helmlinger is a Richmond native who does not fit the typical persona of an urban dance entrepreneur. This 40-something soccer mom from the suburbs is consistently tripping people out with her unexpected street dance skills.
While there is nothing “thug” about Mandy, she gets a kick out of her dancers telling her she is, and loves when new people walk into her class and unexpectedly say, “now this is REAL hip-hop.”
Mandy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography from VCU, and more than 35 years of dance training and experience in performing, teaching, choreographing and directing.
Although Mandy grew up training in classical dance styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, and modern, she has always had a love for street dance. Hence its name, “street” dance was never taught in the studios. And while hip-hop is now taught in most traditional studios as its popularity continues to soar, Mandy still seeks for the authenticity of this style of dance. Her weekly “street sessions” aim to help keep the street in the dance.
Mandy is married to her high school sweetheart and they have 4 active and talented children, all whom dance, produce music and videos, choreograph, and teach. They’re the hip-hop von Trapps if you will.
Mandy plans to dance until she either physically can’t, or until her kids tell her she isn’t cool anymore. Bets are she will eventually be a street-dancing grandmother.