In Marin / CURRENTS
9 QUESTIONS FOR
Annie Rosenthal Parr
In September of 1992 professional dancer and Mill Valley
native Annie Rosenthal lost her mother in a car accident
and then, just a few weeks later, learned that
she herself was pregnant. Considering the job
options available to a single parent, opening a
dance studio in her hometown seemed the best
employment alternative. The next year, on June 1, Rosenthal
opened her studio just two weeks before her baby girl, Amy
Jane (aka A.J., named after Annie’s mother), was born. Over
the past 20 years, in addition to running RoCo Dance and
Fitness, Rosenthal (now Annie Rosenthal Parr) has continued
to perform and choreograph in dance festivals and with
dance companies. She has traveled the world, even serving
as a guest teacher at the Boston Conservatory, where A.J.
is a student. She is now married to brand strategist Tim
Parr, who is also her business partner; together they have
a daughter, Lou Lou (pictured), who has obviously picked up
the dancing gene. MIMI TOWLE
MILL VALLE Y
1What is it like raising two daughters in the town you grew up in? easy and daunting. i
lived in a few different places as a kid. When
i got to Mill Valley in middle school, it felt the
most like home. i wanted my kids to be able to
run through the redwoods and make forts; this
was important to me.
2Biggest challenges in the past 20 years? Staying on top of the growth of the business
while raising kids.
3Biggest rewards? Providing an inspirational, creative second home for so many people.
So many of my students have returned to r oCo
as adults and either continued to take classes or
worked as instructors.
6Any “dance moms” at he studio? No,
we don’t do
we do performances — big
7How has RoCo evolved in the last 20 years? in
1993 r oCo was an adult-only dance
and fitness studio with 2,400 square feet,
five teachers, 24 classes a week and 150
students. in 2013 we have two locations [Mill
Valley and Fairfax], eight studio spaces —
10,000 square feet total — 35 teachers, 200
classes weekly and nearly 1,500 students.
4How many RoCo kids have you put on the Marin Civic Center stage? Umm — thousands and thousands.
8On the business side, what has been your smartest move? Being serious about developing a youth program.
5Why the name RoCo? i purchased Studio M and changed the name to Studio d ance
& Fitness. Bad name. i changed it again to r oCo
d ance and Fitness a year later. r oCo stands for
r osenthal and Company, which was the name of
my first dance company.
Ph o to C r ed it t i M Por t er
9Shout-out to the person who inspired you to open your own dance studio 20 years
ago? My dad. t hanks, d ad. M