The New Center Stage: Foundation & Framing

This post is long overdue, as in 3 months past due.  If you have driven down Crystal Falls Parkway, you have seen that the new building is much further along than the pictures below.  For the purpose of being able to look back on the start of our new studio, let’s rewind back to the beginning when our studio was nothing more than this pile of nicely compacted dirt.

April 14 056

One of our dance moms gave us the idea of placing a Bible in the foundation, and we loved it.  I wrote a prayer inside the cover and took it out to the site.  The crew all loved the idea too!

May 14 081

I ran over to the site one very early April morning on my way to dance competition to watch a line of cement trucks pulling in to the driveway ready to pour the foundation.  It really was fun to watch.

May 14 088

And here they go . . .

May 14 083 May 14 085

The slab is poured!

May 14 107

I was very excited to drive by a little while after the slab was poured to see that we had the beginning of walls.  We had looked at dirt for so long (raked dirt, piled dirt, compacted dirt, etc., etc.), it was quite a shock to see that we were now moving vertically!

Jet Ski 002

Not long after that, we could begin seeing future rooms.

May phone 015

Walls, walls, and more walls!  At this point, I could start walking though the hallway and dance rooms picturing what it would all look like.  And, I might have done a few pas de bourrées, glissades, and jetés to test out the rooms.  And, the framing crew might have looked at me like I was very strange.

May phone 013

The future lobby.  Doesn’t it look so cozy with all the power tools?  It will be much cozier, I promise.

  May phone 017

Exterior walls of the new Center Stage all framed up.  Stay tuned to see more of the building process.

May phone 018

“Thanks Mom” – from your dancing daughters

Grab the dance bag, check that ballet shoes and tap shoes are packed, pick the kids up from school, rush to the dance studio, drop daughter off at dance class, run son to soccer, run a few errands, rush back to soccer and dance class to pick the kids up.  Sound familiar?  Moms are really busy!  Your kids might not know it yet, but one day, they will be very thankful for all you do for them.  It means more to them than they even know yet.

I asked our dance teachers to write a little about the role their mothers have played in their dance careers.  So moms, here’s the proof that what you do matters.  It matters a lot!  Your kids just might not be able to articulate it until they are grown.


From Ms. Michelle:

My mom was a single mom who worked two, sometimes three jobs to provide for me and my sister.  Even though money was tight, she always found a way to enroll us in dance classes.  She knew how much we loved dancing and made that sacrifice willingly.  She happily watched countless made-up shows that my sister (Ms. Bridget) and I created in our living room.  When she got home from work, we would hand her a homemade “ticket” to our show and lead her to her seat (the couch).  We moved the coffee tables to the wall to create a “stage” and proceeded with the show.  We did this almost weekly!

In high school, I won a scholarship to a convention at a dance competition.  At the convention that summer, I realized that most of the other dancers were more advanced than I was at the time.  I was so discouraged.  My mom wouldn’t let me continue to feel down.  She told me to go back in there and try my hardest.  She then told me that when we got back home that I was old enough to drive myself to more lessons.  If I wanted to improve my dancing, that was up to me.  At that time, I started teaching younger classes to pay to take more classes and began driving out of town to further my training.  She taught me a very valuable lesson on that dance trip.  Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t help you realize your dreams.  You must be your own motivator to realize your dreams.  I’ve carried that lesson with me throughout my life.

She never questioned my decision to study dance in college.  She came to every performance to cheer me on.  She has always been my biggest supporter.  She was there at our groundbreaking ceremony to help me celebrate building our new dance studio, and I know she will be there smiling proudly when we celebrate the grand opening.  Thanks Mom for always believing in me and teaching me to follow my dreams!   – Michelle


From Ms. Bridget:

When I was only 14 years old I decided I wanted to open my own dance studio.  Can you imagine what you would think if your 14 year old came to you with this?  Most parents would say, “Nice idea or maybe someday.”  My mother said, “Great, when are you going to start?”  A few short months later I had opened the first Center Stage.  Her early help in recruiting students and support made that first studio, with a 14 year old owner, very successful.  My mother’s support, dedication to my success, and anything is possible attitude is truly contagious.  Thanks Mom for being such an amazing inspiration to me and having such a huge impact on mine and Michelle’s dance careers.  – Bridget


From Ms. Eve:

From a young age, my mom was always there for me.   She worked a lot of hours, and there wasn’t always money for a lot of extra curricular activities.  Somehow she put me through year after year of dance lessons, and year after year of recitals, costumes, etc.  She’s one of the only people that truly understands how passionate I am about what I do.  I think that’s because she’s been with me since the very beginning.  Thank you Ma!  – Eve


From Ms. Tori:

For Carol Zimmerman, AKA, Supermom
There is possibly no way to communicate how important my mom was to my dance career. I’m sure many daughters have said this, but I believe with all my heart that my mom is a prime candidate for the best mother on the planet. I admire her so much and we are so close that she was even my matron of honor at my wedding. In short, my mom rocks!  I could have wanted to be a hat maker, and astronaut or even a professional kite flyer and she would have supported me.  Instead I chose the performance route and she was totally behind me. As mothers do, she did encourage me to get a degree, which I’m very glad I did.  But never has there been a bigger cheerleader for her daughter than my mom watching me on stage.  From driving me all around El Paso for various studios, to those obnoxious pincurls to get my soldier wig to stay on during “The Nutcracker”; from several exchanges due to poorly fitting pointe shoes (skinny foot, wide metatarsal, etc.), to a half-inch splinter in my foot that had me out of commission for quite a while since it had to be surgically removed-she has been a trooper.  And then, when I was able to drive myself around El Paso to various rehearsals, she got the call informing her that I’d never made it to my second rehearsal that day because I was in a car accident and was in the hospital (no major injuries, except to the car). Yep, she got through that too.  My mother has withstood tears, injuries, broken hearts, awards, successes, innumerable auditions, lead roles, chorus roles, crazy schedules, expensive costumes… I could go on and on. So many of my memories of dance include my mom cheering me on from the wings, yet I don’t remember a single time she complained about any of it. As I write this I realize I owe my entire dance career to my mama 🙂  -tori
From Ms. Ally:
I am so thankful for my mom, who passed her love of dance down to me!  I am also incredibly thankful for the countless times she drove me to practices and auditions and made sure that I felt encouraged and supported!  Her love and support has helped me achieve more goals in my dance/cheer career than I could have ever imagined!   – Ally
From Ms. Carla:
My mom enrolled me in dance at the age of 3 and I’ve loved it ever since.  Not until I have become a mom myself can I really appreciate the sacrifices she made for my dance career – juggling the family’s schedule to get me to class and rehearsal, sometimes 7 days a week; the hours of sleep lost at night sewing numerous costumes and pointe shoes (and you can’t forget all of the needle-pricked fingers); and tolerating the non-stop dancing down the grocery store aisles, no matter how crowded it was.  The support and encouragement she provided over the years helped foster a gift in me that continues to make me smile every time I step in to the studio or on to the stage.  While I’ll never be able to say it enough, thank you Mommy!   – Carla


From Ms. Karen:

I am so very grateful for my mom since day 1 of my dancing life.  At age 4, my gymnastics coach suggested that my long legs were better suited for dancing and the very next semester my mom had me enrolled in my first ballet class.  That is when dance just clicked for me!  There was 1 year when there were so many things I wanted to do, my mom told me something had to give, and I chose dance. After a year away from it, I ended up dropping everything else and returning to dance. But I always appreciated the fact the she encouraged me to try whatever it was I wanted in life in order to find out what I was really passionate about.

When the end of high school was in sight, my family had the “if you could do anything in the world, what would you want to do” talk. I said “be a professional ballet dancer in New York City.” My mom replied “ok, then let’s do it.”  I of course had to explain the training I would have needed as a child to do that, to which she replied in true mom fashion “but I think you are the best dancer I have ever seen.”  After we settled on a college career in dance, my parents never asked me to consider something else and even used family vacations jumping from 1 campus to the next so that I could find the right one for me.  No school was out of question.
While teaching in college, my mom would travel with me and my team to Chicago for competition.  It always felt so good to hear the girls call her Mama Julie. And even now that we are so far away, every time my mom visits she asks to see the videos from my students’ performances.
I don’t know where I would be without the support of my mother. She never tried to persuade me in to pursuing a more lucrative or stable career, never stopped telling me “I was the best dancer she had even seen,” and never stopped being the woman I look up to and admire still today. Thank you to my mother, and all the good dance moms, for all of their love and support. Happy Mother’s Day!  – Karen

From Ms. Carrie:

Thanks to my mom who not only worked to pay for all my dance expenses, sewing costumes, doing hair and makeup, and driving me to classes, competitions, and other performance… but for sharing my love of dance!  For sticking by me, cheering me on, and for participating in the mom’s competing group.  And most importantly, for never giving up on me and believing in me when I decided to change majors in college to receive my bachelor’s degree in Dance instead of Engineering.  – Carrie


Here’s proof of what real dance moms do for their daughters.  They support them every step of the way.  They believe in them and teach them to believe in themselves.  They help them realize their dreams.  So, Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful dance mamas!

Dads & Dance

Dads & Dance

Although dance classes are usually left up to mom, we love seeing dads in the studio.  We love seeing the dads get involved in their daughter’s dancing.  It means a lot to the girls to have their daddy’s support.  Sometimes dads seem a little lost as to how to show their support.  After all, they don’t know a lot about hair buns, tutus, and dance recitals.  But the good news, dads, is that you don’t have to!  You don’t have to know how to do a ballet bun or fluff a tutu to tell her how much you love watching her dance.  Better yet, join her by participating in the Father/Daughter Dance.

Each year, we invite our Center Stage dance dads to join their daughters in the Father/Daughter Dance at our year-end recital.  We started doing this in 2008, and it was such a huge hit, we continued each year thereafter.  For our first Father/Daughter dance, our dads and daughters danced to “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman.  It was a beautiful performance showing the girls growing from little girls into lovely young ladies over time.  We had a great turnout of dance dads joining us that first year all looking handsome as shown in the picture below.

  Vacation 029

A few years later, we decided to do a fun number to “Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book.  Each dad and daughter pair were asked to dress alike in their own style.  Not only was it fun to watch them dance together, it was also fun to see all of their matching outfits.  Again, we had a number of dads join in on the fun.


It was a swingin’ good time!


This year, we will be performing to “A Wink and a Smile”.  I can’t wait to see all the dads looking so dapper in their fedoras and newsboys!  You don’t have to be a dancer or even like dancing very much to join us.  The only requirement is that you want to make your daughter a very happy little girl.  Don’t worry – the steps are all easy to learn, and we have two rehearsals before the performance.  Girls ages 5 and up are able to participate.  Grandpas, big brothers, uncles, etc. can join in the fun too!

To sign up for the Father/Daughter Dance, see the front desk.

Practice Dates – May 30 and June 6

Practice Times – ages 5-7 yrs 7:00-8:00PM, ages 8-up 8:00-9:00PM

Practice Location – Studio C  (High Hopes Sports Center – behind Highpoint Fellowship on New Hope)

Center Stage’s Groundbreaking Ceremony

We held our Groundbreaking Ceremony on April 11.  We appreciate all of you who came out to help us celebrate the start of our new dance studio.  We are so excited to watch the building take shape over the next few months and look forward to posting progress updates on the blog.  Here’s a look at Center Stage’s Groundbreaking Ceremony.

I love the way the girls are looking at the dirt and the shovels like, “You want me to do what?”

Groundbreaking 082

“No thanks – I’d rather DANCE!”

Groundbreaking 090

Groundbreaking 021

Groundbreaking 101

I imagine it was quite different than other business’ groundbreaking celebrations.  Needless to say, a lot of dancing in the dirt went on at our celebration.  I enjoyed telling the girls what “studio room” they were dancing in.

We all enjoyed eating cookie cake.  What’s a celebration without some yummy cookie cake!

Groundbreaking 002

I think the cookie cake produced these smiles from these cuties.

Groundbreaking 080

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us.  We are celebrating dirt now, but soon we will be celebrating and dancing in our brand new studio.  We can’t wait!


Competition Season – Part I

 Competition season is in full swing!  Our girls have been working on their competition dances since last fall, and now it is time to watch them shine.  It is such a joy to watch them perform on the stage after all the hard work they have put into their dancing.

At the end of March, a few of our soloists and duets decided to go to an optional competition in San Antonio – Showstoppers.  The competition venue was right on the Riverwalk, so after our dancers competed, we all got to enjoy strolling along the Riverwalk.  Our dancers enjoyed time together shopping, eating, and riding the river boats.  Not only did our dancers dance beautifully on stage, but they left with some great memories of fun times with their friends.

March 14 028

Our first studio-wide competition of the season was held in Georgetown on April 6.  Since this is an in-house competition where we bring in judges, our dancers get to watch all of their friends dance.  It is sometimes hard to watch your fellow dance team members at the larger competitions since they are spread out over three days.  This competition also allows our dancers to get valuable judge’s feedback before our two larger competitions.

Look at all these lovely young ladies.  How lucky are we to get to teach these dedicated, talented dancers each week?

April 14 085

Dream Company in their lyrical costumes.  These bright costumes match their fun-loving personalities perfectly!

April 14 088

This weekend our dancers are performing at Dance Showcase Competition in Pflugerville.  Let’s all wish them luck to dance their very best!

Is your child interested in trying out for Center Stage Company for the 2014-2015 season?

Come to our Company Placements May 19-20.

We will let you know if your child is ready and/or advise what classes will help prepare him/her for the following year.

Company Placements – Company is our competitive-level dance teams.  Our company placements for the 2014-2015 dance year will take place May 19-20 at the times listed below. Placement class is free and open to all students.  Current company students are required to attend placements to be placed for next year.  See the front desk or e-mail me for more information about Company.

Jazz/Lyrical company placements:
Ages 4-5 –     May 19, 4:30-5:30PM
Ages 6-8 –     May 19, 5:30-6:30PM
Ages 9-11 –    May 19, 6:30-7:30PM
Ages 12-up –  May 19, 7:30-8:30PM

Hip-Hop company placements:
Ages 5-9 –      May 20, 7:00-8:00PM
Ages 10-up –  May 20, 8:00-9:00PM

Moving Dirt

After several months of planning, surveying, and permitting, we finally got the green light to start moving dirt!  I was so excited when I first drove by the lot and saw construction equipment on the site.  I don’t know any of the specifics of what they are doing when they are out there moving dirt around, but it makes me happy to see the work being done.  I do know that all this preparation to the site is one step closer to pouring the slab.  Once the slab is poured, I can’t wait to start seeing the building take shape.  I’ll keep posting to the blog so you all can watch the progress.  Years from now, we will look back at these pictures and find it hard to believe the lot looked like this when we started.

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow, Friday, April 11th at 4PM for our Groundbreaking Ceremony!

(1602 S. West Drive, Leander – behind O’Reill’s off of Crystal Falls Parkway)

Equipment on the site.

April 14 039  

We made a trip to Espinoza Stone in Georgetown to select the stone for the building.

It was a lot of fun to choose the stone albeit a bit overwhelming.  So many choices!

April 14 050  

It looks a bit like a big sand box right now.  I can’t wait to watch it transform into our new Center Stage!

April 14 096