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.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Marketplace

Future looks bright for popular Redmond cannabis shop

Hashtag Cannabis preparing for move to large new site in downtown Redmond, café to be added

Put a little Soulstice in your spring!

March 14 fashion fundraiser in Seattle to help Justice and Soul expand local outreach and education

A dance fest for everyone!

Chop Shop returns for another year of art, education and fun

Chef Murray Fields recently opened his state-of-the-art kitchen in Tukwila as the heart of his Gourmet Meals to Go.
Gourmet to Go can be this good!

Chef makes it simple to enjoy restaurant-quality cuisine at home or office

Buying a home? Here’s inside knowledge that pays

In real estate, location is key. But how do you find that… Continue reading

5 reasons to get excited about what’s coming to the heart of Redmond

The amenities at the brand-new Hilton Garden Inn will appeal to locals and visitors alike

Bail can be a motivator for positive change

All City Bail Bonds works closely with defendants and their families following an arrest

Excitement is building for Redmond’s coming sip and savour destination!

Hilton Garden Inn’s Fork and Spoke will be your downtown food-and-beverage hub

Airport Winter Weather 101

When the weather outside is frightful … and you’re worried your trip… Continue reading

(Lucky Louie Fish Shack photo)
Savor the Season at SEA!

SEA Airport is bustling during the holiday travel season! In the midst… Continue reading

Four reasons you’re waiting on the plane at SEA

You’ve just landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) after flying for what… Continue reading

Accessibility tools for low-vision travelers at SEA

We all have tools that help us get through our every day… Continue reading