Self-expression takes commitment, but the reward is worth the effort

In the 28 years that Karen’s Dance Academy LLC has been in business, there has been more than 7,000 students to pass through the Academy doors. Some are still working in the performance industry, some have gone on to be professionals, doctors, teachers, and most importantly, parents. Owner/Operator Karen Frantz says she is blessed when she sees the daughters and sons of past students come thru her classes.

“We have generations of past performers in the studio, and the message is all the same, teamwork, respect and discipline — all the great factors handed down from generation to generation. In a world where everything is instant gratification — want it now, get it faster — the world of dance is the exception. There are no cheat codes for the perfect kick, no download for a triple pirouette, and no lesson greater learned than how show love and compassion for one another.”

The studio has a motto the students hold dear to:

“Teamwork can be summed up in 5 short words: we believe in each other. One team, one dream, one goal, BELIEVE.”

The Academy now houses not only dancers of every genre, but also competitive cheerleading, tumbling and voice and instrumental lessons.

“It’s a great thing to walk through the studio an see the students that are not in class helping each other in the break room with their studies, or praising a student from another class for reaching that next goal,” Frantz said.

Hard work and dedication has paid off for the dancers.

As an example, this past summer groups of dancers covered the states representing Karen’s Dance Academy at the 2015 Dance The World Festival at Walt Disney Word, performing in the parade and dancing in the Magic Kingdom, while other dancers attending three different National Finals in Las Vegas, Florida and Chicago.

Jensen Ross was awarded an Acting Scholarship from Camp Pulse and Dylan Ross received a convention Dance Scholarship at Camp Pulse as well.

Dylan currently Holds the Magic Performer Junior title LADM and a yearlong scholarship to both the LADM nationals and the Tremaine Dance Experience. He was the First Place Hip hop solo at the Tremaine Regional held this past weekend in St Louis. Dylan will be competing for the magic Performer National title in LA this summer .

David Jameson held the Elite Teen title and the Senior Elite title for West Coast Dance Explosion and has performed for two years at the Grand Gala Held in Las Vegas at the Beautiful Mirage Stage.

David was chosen to be a part of the FUSION performance Team — an elite group chosen from around the country to travel on tour with West Coast Dance Explosion and receive special training in all dance styles. David has been named the Senior Elite Texas title and will compete at Nationals again in Vegas this summer. He has spent each weekend traveling with the Fusion team and expanding his training and dance education.

This past weekend a group from Karen’s Dance Academy attended the Tremaine regionals in St. Louis, and were awarded the Best Showmanship award. The team covets its first place trophies, but the showmanship award is the icing on the cake. The workshop and competition hold auditions for a chance at scholarships for the next season of training. McKenna Abbott attended on Scholarship as the Dancer of the Year. This year we had several that made it to the final cuts, Anna Owen, Olivia Mears, Peyten Windland . Dylan Ross received the yearlong convention Scholarship.

The big trip the dancers plan to work towards is the West Coast Dance Explosion regionals in Chicago this April. Dancers are working to raise funds to help them with the cost of the trip. Anyone interested in sponsoring the group should contact a company member. The studio was lucky enough to host the staff of West Coast to the Academy this past summer and look forward to showing the training they have been putting in.

The Academy is constantly striving to give the students more training and experience to open the way for those coveted scholarships and opportunities. For the next two weeks the studio will once again host Dr. Ken Bello, Ballet Master from Chicago to take on Ballet Barre, technique and specialized turn class, partnering and a men’s class.