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and part 4.
Let’s jump right into some new allegations parents have made against Candy Dennis’ Revive Dance Xchange in Beverly…..
Candy parks in the handicapped spot at RDX because she claims to be handicapped. They’re not sure if this is related to her “disease,” but parents have told us that they have come to RDX with actual handicapped people, only to find the spot taken by the seemingly able-bodied owner who also performs in the recitals.
Questionable credentials for Candy
Candy’s credentials can be found on the RDX website here.
She claims she received 2 bachelor degrees from Dean College just a couple years after she graduated high school. She opened RDX in 2003, and while doing so was allegedly working on her second bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Salem State.
I had no idea you could get two separate bachelor’s degrees from two different colleges in two years.
She also claims to have auditioned for and been a part of Alvin Ailey’s dance company which there seems to be no record of. Just to be clear, although more white people are dancing for this historically black dancing group, she does not have the build to be an Alvin Ailey dancer.
She says she toured with Sisqo, and claims to have been the #2 ranked ballroom dancer in the world at one point. She also cancelled a class once because she claims she was working with Dancing With The Stars in Boston:
Many parents thought this was suspicious because if you really toured with Sisqo, DWTS, and Alvin Ailey, AND you owned a dance studio, wouldn’t you have a picture up somewhere of that in your dance studio? This is exactly the kind of stuff you would want to show off to your customers so they know they’re being taught by a professional. It’s like opening a basketball league, claiming to have played with Michael Jordan, and then not having any pictures of it.
One parent sent us this in an email as well:
Candy claims to have trained/taught girls and gotten them on to the Patriots cheerleading squad. A young woman called the studio this past season saying that she was trying out for the Patriots and needed someone to train her in dance and in acrobatics. Candy told her that she has gotten other girls on to the Patriots cheerleading squad with her help. This young woman is currently a student of Candy’s trying to go through the audition process
If Candy would like to comment on any of this we would love to hear her version of the story. As always, our inbox is open.
In her bio it says she’s Rythym Works certified, but yet is not listed on their list of certified instructors. She claims to have a Certification Masters in Dance from Chicago National Association of Dance Master but that’s not a thing they offer.
She has a whole page on her website that she advertises massage therapy, specifically dedicated to advanced therapeutic deep tissue massage therapy so she does advertise this service.
According to MGL a business cannot do massage therapy without a license:
She claims in her bio that she got her rolfing certification from The U.S. Career Institute in Colorado, but we looked and it appears as if they don’t offer rolfing certification. And when would she have attended school in Colorado if she started the studio a couple years after she graduated from high school?
Questionable credentials for instructors
Her teachers are not certified yet are advertised as master level instructors. Mostly they are just students she asks to teach. Here’s what one instructor tells us:
I was never professionally certified. My only thing that would put me in any type of certification would be the fact that I have been assisting teaching dance since when I was 12 years old in various studios from moving around. None of her teachers are certified. With the exception of maybe one dance teacher who came back this past year.
Frequently clients we spoke with are told they are going to get one teacher but they end up getting another. Others told us that they booked a class with Candy as the instructor, but that she left 20 minutes into an hour long session that ended up only lasting 45 minutes. Others told us about how kids were thrown in with the wrong age group after being promised that would not happen:
She also claims that some of her instructors are not only capable of teaching dance, they also do acting and voice lessons, and are the “best on the North Shore”:
Oh, and since the instructors she has on staff are also clients, she set up a “work study” program. Basically the instructors got “paid” an hourly rate, which Candy discounts from the money they owe for classes. Every “employee” we spoke with ended up owing her money instead of vice versa. As a result there is no cash exchange, she wouldn’t have to pay to process payroll, and doesn’t have to pay social security taxes, unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation. Which brings us to our next topic…..
Potential Tax Fraud
Every singe parent we spoke with wrote their tuition checks to Candy personally, as opposed to the business. Here’s what a former employee who dealt with money told us:
“She does this every year at the end of the dance season (which is June). In fact she would get angry at me if I accepted checks during that time that were made out to the business and not to her. She claimed it was because she had to close out her books after the season ended.”
Any business that is asking for checks to be made out to a person instead of their registered business is likely hiding something. It’s the easiest way for a business to avoid paying taxes. Obviously we cannot see her personal or business income tax returns, but if she’s not dropping these checks in her business account then she doesn’t have to pay taxes on that income.
Additionally, by encouraging her “employees” to do a “work study,” they are not paying taxes either. Which is why she doesn’t W-9 them.
Here’s what a parent tells us about donations to RDX:
One more thing…people donate used dance shoes or dance attire and she resells them. Claims that the proceeds from those sales go in to her scholarship fund. I’m here to tell you…she never separated those proceeds out. I would CONSTANTLY write notes telling her how much was sold and she would toss the note in the trash in front of me and tell me to just put the $ in the cash box. She never separated that $ out. Ever!! There was never ANY record of those sales from that supposed scholarship donation bin. People were donating their used items and she was selling then for her own profit.
She also solicited and accepted donations for the building of her new studio but yet is a for profit organization. Because the wording that she uses with the “scholarship” funds, clearly is designed to make it seem like it’s for a charity or non-profit.
When the studio moved locations last year, she reached out to clients for donations. Plaques were put up with their names on them and we’re displayed in the studios. She is now taking them down and told them “I’m partnering with someone who doesn’t want them up.” The people that donated what equates to thousands of dollars are not pleased.
Another parent told us this:
She holds shopping type fundraisers (pasta or whatever) but it’s never clear what these are supporting. Can you hold fundraisers for general operations? At other studios these fundraisers benefit competition dancers or costume expenses. Candy gives out fundraising packets each year. At other dance studios the fundraising supports dancers going to out of state competitions. The only thing these fundraisers benefit is the studio (or Candy) itself.
All of this is troubling information. As usual, we would encourage Candy Dennis to reach out to us if any of these allegations are unfounded. We do our due diligence and interview all parties involved when we do a story, so we’d love to hear from Candy. However, she has not only blocked us and has not returned our emails, she also appears to have deactivated her Facebook page in the last 30 minutes too.
We only have two parts left. Part 6 will cover shady fees, and some very troubling erratic, vindictive, and unprofessional behavior. Part 7 will be her side of the story and a recap of everything we’ve investigated.