Savelli Family
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Savelli Family: A Legacy of Dance and Martial Arts in Willoughby

3 Mins read

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In the heart of Willoughby, a tale of dedication, passion, and family values unfolds as the Savelli family continues their remarkable journey, nurturing both dance and martial arts through the generations. Their story is one of resilience, transformation, and the pursuit of excellence in the realms of movement and discipline.

A Harmonious Relocation to Willoughby

In the early months of this year, the Savelli family embarked on an exciting new chapter, relocating their renowned establishment, Savelli’s Dance and Martial Arts, to the vibrant city of Willoughby. Anchored at their new address, 38016 Euclid Ave., the Savellis’ embrace an ideal setting for their venture, imparting a fresh energy and vigor to their business.

A Fusion of Disciplines and Opportunities

Within the welcoming walls of Savelli’s, an eclectic blend of artistic expression and physical empowerment comes to life. From various genres of dance to invigorating Zumba sessions and the discipline of martial arts, the offerings at Savelli’s cater to a diverse clientele, all seeking the enrichment and joy that movement brings. Diane Savelli, the visionary executive director and owner, reflects on this evolution with pride, stating that the transition has been a positive transformation for the business.

The Roots of Savelli’s: A Legacy Begins

The story of Savelli’s commenced in 1980 when Diane Savelli, alongside her late husband, Guy, initiated a martial arts enterprise in Cleveland. Diane, hailing from Meadville, Pennsylvania, and armed with a master’s degree in education, had an intrinsic love for dance. Recognizing the parallels between martial arts and dance, the couple amalgamated these worlds into a unique fusion that would shape their destiny.

From Humble Beginnings to Flourishing Business

Initially starting in downtown Cleveland, the Savellis’ endeavor thrived, with Diane infusing her dancing background into the venture. A natural evolution led to the establishment’s growth, spanning three locations: Kirtland, Mentor-on-the-Lake, and Chardon. However, as the business burgeoned, the decision was made to consolidate into a single, expansive studio. This pivotal moment led them to their current home in Mentor, and eventually, to their newfound haven in Willoughby.

A Homecoming to Willoughby’s Enchantment

Diane Savelli fondly describes the allure of Willoughby as “magical.” The city’s vibrant atmosphere and spacious amenities offer an idyllic backdrop for both students and their parents. The ample parking and proximity to downtown Willoughby’s delights create an inviting environment for families to engage in their children’s growth and development.

Resilience Amidst Challenges

The Savelli family’s journey was not without challenges. The pandemic posed hurdles, resulting in a 25 percent decline in student enrollment. Tragically, Diane Savelli’s husband succumbed to the virus. Despite these hardships, the family’s commitment remained steadfast. Diane recalls contemplating the future but ultimately affirming their dedication to their legacy.

A School of Substance and Integrity

Central to the Savelli philosophy is the notion of being a “school of substance.” This echoes their commitment to integrity and legacy. With 44 years of experience, the family takes immense pride in their role as mentors, nurturing dancers of all ages. They strive to cultivate holistic individuals who are not only skilled dancers but also well-rounded individuals capable of embracing diverse opportunities.

A Family’s Enduring Passion

Dance, for the Savelli family, is a shared passion. Jennifer Savelli, co-artistic director, embarked on a journey from student to professional, achieving milestones as a ballerina, Rockette, and Broadway performer. Her return to the family fold as an instructor epitomizes the joy that pervades Savelli’s studios. Similarly, Sarah Savelli, a rhythm tap dancer of international repute, contributes her expertise to the business.

A Martial Arts Legacy Lives On

Jason Coles, martial arts director, personifies the Savelli ethos of knowledge-sharing. Fueled by a sense of pride and responsibility, he carries forward the martial arts legacy, imparting his teachings to new generations. His commitment aligns seamlessly with the family’s overarching vision.

Community Collaboration and Giving Back

The Savellis’ community involvement is as inspiring as their dedication to their crafts. Through an annual Christmas show, they raise funds for Project Hope, an initiative supporting the homeless. This exemplifies their ethos of using their platform to make a positive impact beyond the studio walls.

A Legacy Continues

As the Savelli family looks back on their journey, they stand as a testament to determination, passion, and unwavering commitment. Their legacy lives on through the lives they’ve touched, the skills they’ve imparted, and the joy they’ve kindled. Savelli’s Dance and Martial Arts is not merely a business; it’s a sanctuary of growth, discovery, and family.


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