By SOPHIE FRIEDBERG | Junior Reporter
It goes without saying that when a girl reaches the age of 2, she is put into ballet classes. Whether she likes it or not, that’s how it goes.
From the day I was shoved into ballet class at age 2 until now, I thought this was the case universally.
I believed this to be true until I came to Fancy Feet Dance Studio in Pacific Palisades.
At Fancy Feet, every girl radiates jubilation and possesses a forceful tenacity to dance. Studio owner and director Emily Kay Tillman has created a studio in which people are welcomed as they are.
The lively and wistful atmosphere at Fancy Feet is undeniable, as this studio focuses chiefly on technique, growth and spirit.
Some studios in Los Angeles are devoted to nothing but competition and titles, whereas Fancy Feet staff believes in self-growth and a solid foundation of dance.
Fancy Feet graduate and NYU student Audrey Hobert said, “Fancy Feet, since I was 7 years old, has always been this place where I can let go of every stressful factor of my life and have fun—not much stressed me out when I was 7 but still.
“Even though dance is a fairly competitive sport, Fancy Feet is the most loving and supportive environment I’ve ever had the privilege of being apart of. The amount of amazing people I’ve met and become close with there goes to no end.”
At this studio, girls are taught to dance for no one other than themselves.
They dance not for a title, not for fame and not to pass time. Fancy Feet is for the girls who have dedicated their lives to dance. The vast majority of girls at this studio consider dance as more than just “a hobby.”
This is due to the tremendous staff who have become more like second parents than teachers. What Fancy Feet is famous for, however, is the way they give back to the community.
Dancers perform for in-town functions, the Disneyland Parade and countless other charity-based events. These selfless acts are what give Fancy Feet such unbreakable ties to this community.
For example, Rileigh Goldsmith, who is 15, said, “Fancy Feet is my safe haven, where I can learn, express and be supported by such an extensive family. I’ve met my best friends and greatest role models at Fancy Feet and wouldn’t want to spend my time anywhere else. I’m truly lucky to be a part of such a charitable studio that continues to give back to the community.”
Over the years, I have started to assist ballet classes for students ranging from age 3 to age 7.
To see these girls look up to me (exactly how I would look up to the older dancers when I was that age) is pure magic.
Knowing that I am helping to shape the way they see dance not only teaches me responsibility and maturity, but it helps tie the whole studio together, regardless of age.
The girls at Fancy Feet live and breathe for this studio, and the amount of support given to each dancer is stunning. At this studio, when one person feels something, they all feel it.
The expression “your pain is my pain” goes without saying at this studio.
The pure elation and effortless love that every girl and faculty member gives so willingly is astounding. I am proud to shine a light on Fancy Feet in the Palisades, where we’ve built our own little dance family.
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