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Footlights Dance Studio Interview with Amy Parsons

Footlights Dance Studio is a Christian dance studio with both a competitive track or performance only classes in Flower Mound, Texas.  Their focus is on growing and developing strong dance technique and performance ability in a more conservative, positive environment.  In order to keep their dance routines wholesome, they are careful with song lyrics, choreography and costuming.  Their instructors are highly qualified and great role models both inside and outside the studio space.  They have strong results at competitions and do multiple community performances as well as offering opportunities for conventions, master classes and trips!

According to Amy Parsons, Owner and Director, in addition to their careful selection of music, costumes and choreography, they want their students to still be able to be kids and participate in other activities where possible.  They believe very much that the joy of dance should be able to be shared by all, not just those dedicating ten hours a week to dance.  If a student wants to take a couple dance classes for fun and exercise, that’s okay! They also offer optional worship dance opportunities and devotionals at various times throughout the year.

Amy believes there are three main qualities that make Footlights unique. They are: 1) Their loving, Christian environment –  Since they opened their doors two decades ago, they have been committed to offering quality dance instruction while at the same time striving to uphold the morals and ideals of a Christian foundation. Their goal is for their choreography, costumes and music choices to always be fun for the dancer, but still appropriate in a world that is often  . . . not. 2) Consistent, professional and caring staff –  Amy believes she is so blessed to have teachers that are highly trained in their styles and have a heart for God and His children! They are knowledgeable and talented, but most of all consider each student a blessing from God and will strive to treat them accordingly. 3) Technique training in addition to choreography and performance – They believe in working to produce a well-rounded dancer and having fun in the process. They do not want their dancers to just learn a routine to perform; they want them to have the techniques to be able to continue dancing as long as they want in many settings. Teachers cover specific curriculum, basics and work towards more advanced moves. The instructors at Footlights use the correct terminology – even with their little ones – as well as imagery and fun phrases. Amy hopes that this has told you a little more about their philosophies upon which they are based. She believes that possessing all three of these characteristics makes Footlights a truly special place!

Amy realizes that many people might list a competitive win as their proudest moment as a dance coach and she could certainly do that, also. She says those wins are fun and Footlights have had some really big ones. However, in the end, those are not the things that are the most important to her. She says that she would have to say that what makes her the most proud, or maybe a better word is the happiest, is being a huge part of so many special lives. She has been to her students’ weddings, taught their children, gone to their graduation celebrations, held their hands when they cried, traveled with them, laughed with them and watched them turn into loving, kind, moral and productive adults. She has had her students go on to be professional dancers, actors, teachers and more and to know that she was able to be a part of their lives and help in some way is huge to her.

Amy believes that the biggest mistakes dancers make is setting their goals based solely on another person and trying to “win at all costs.”  She sees the pressure from parents and teachers and the attitude of “do whatever it takes” even if it means sacrificing what you believe is right or what a parent or student is comfortable with.  She advises dancers to stick to their guns on what their gut tells them – parents and students.  If they feel something might be inappropriate, it probably is.  In her opinion, any teacher who tells you that this “is what you have to do to win,” is focusing on the win and not the dancer’s best interest.  Footlights has national wins under their belts – first places, overalls at competitions, pro dancers and more but they never want students or parents to feel like they have to sacrifice their morals or a parent’s comfort zone to get those wins.

FDS has offers an extensive list of dance classes – Jazz, Hip Hop (including a boy’s only class), Tap, Ballet, Intro to Acting, Contemporary, Modern, Pre-Pointe, Pointe, Clogging, Musical Theater, Choreography, Drill Team Jazz, Home School Day Time Classes, Stretch & Conditioning, Kick & Flexibility, Leaps & Turns, Drill Team Preparation, and Sign Language. They also have specialized signed dance classes in Ballet, Jazz, and Hip Hop for hearing impaired students. Additionally, they have adult classes in Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop and Sign Language. They truly have classes for everyone!

Footlights opened in 1996 and after 20 years in business, they are producing their first Nutcracker! Amy says that she guesses her goal would be to survive the presentation successfully, create a great production and not lose money in the process! HA!

In teaching at other studios and seeing the competition world changing somewhat, Amy wanted to create a place where both parents and students could feel 100% comfortable in everything their child was doing, both from a technical standpoint, but more importantly as a child. She saw children in various venues being, in her opinion, exploited or made to “grow up too fast.”  She wanted a place where kids could still be kids, but learn great technique and learn the joy of dancing and performing without undue pressure from being solely results oriented.  In other words, even if you get second place – or even don’t compete at all – you can still love dance and grow in your abilities!

Footlights is in a 10,000 sq foot facility with professional floated floors, both wall and free standing barres and large mirrors.  They have a student lounge as well as a parent waiting room with closed circuit television monitors so that parents can see any studio from the waiting room.

Their competitive teams perform at various venues, charities and nursing homes in the area as well as attending conventions and performing at places like Disney and this year – on a cruise line! Footlights has three competitive classes – Clogging, Modern and Hip Hop (Boys only).

They also have a musical theater program as well as a competitive musical theater team called “Footnotes.”  Many of her dancers are also singers and actors and enjoy participating in shows and musicals around the area.  Amy is an actress and singer herself and has enjoyed directing numerous musicals through the years.

Footlights has six different summer camps – a Musical Theater Camp, Theater Tech Camp (learn about set design, costuming, lights and sound), Drill Team Camp, Rock Star Dance Camp, La Tea Dolly Dance Camp (girls bring their dolls and Dolly gets to join in on the fun – crafts, dance, snacks, Tea Party), Frozen Kingdom Camp (boys and girls aged 3 to 7 years old).

If you would like more information about Footlights Dance Studio, visit their website at footlightsdancestudio.net, call them at 972-355-8100 or email them at footlightsdancestudio@verizon.net. You can also “Like” them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, check them out with Linked In, and connect with them on Instagram. Oh, and don’t forget to check the local Chamber of Commerce and Yelp where they received five stars!

Anyone who has danced at Footlights Dance Studio, with Amy Parsons or with any of the other instructors at Footlights, is invited to comment on their blog.

. . . what makes her the most proud, or maybe a better word is the happiest, is being a huge part of so many special lives.

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