Growing up in Abilene, my brother and I would watch old MGM movies on television after school every day. He liked all the movies that had airplanes, and I gravitated to the musicals. While I loved watching Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, it was the Gene Kelly movies that really grabbed me – all that great tap dancing and the energetic routines. One day in 1990, I was sitting on the floor in front of the television watching “Singin’ in the Rain”, and during his famous dance for that song, he runs the tip of his umbrella along a metal fence and then does this really intricate looking move with his feet that looks like it would make you trip. I stood up and actually did the move myself, much to my own delight!! I immediately called dance studios to find one that had tap classes for adults. I started tap classes at Patty Harper Dance Studio in the summer of 1990. Oh, and I learned that step that Gene Kelly had done – called the grapevine – and it really wasn’t that hard!!
Here I am 25 recitals later, still taking tap and still enjoying it. Mary Milstead had just taken over the studio when I started, following the retirement of Patty Harper. I have enjoyed Mary so much through the years, and getting to know other ladies in the classes with me has been so much fun. We are part of a very special family. It is also special to watch the young girls when they first start out and then as they mature into beautiful dancers. I have seen that repeated over and over through the years. We have had some beautiful, talented dancers. The Christmas show itself makes me feel like I am literally living one of those old Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland movies where they “put on a show”. A lot of work, but so gratifying! I look back at my own life through these 25 years~ through the changes that I have seen in myself and in my life, dance has been a constant. I have made many friends whom I cherish, and I would not have known them if I had not started dancing. There's also the benefit of the physical and mental exercise that is part of dance. I can’t imagine my life without it... especially the home I found at Patty Harper Dance Studio!
I love to see my daughter dance and find that one thing that makes her happy. Dancing has been an important part of my life. Patty Harper Dance has not only been a place to learn to dance, it has played an important role in my daughter's way of thinking about herself and others. They learn so much on the dance floor, but it's also about what Ms. Mary teaches off the dance floor that they can take with them no matter where they might go in life. Patty Harper Dance teaches the girls that anyone can dance, no matter what. Mary, along with the other teachers, really love to dance and have so much fun at the same time.
I am pleased to see what is in store for the next 50 years. Congratulations Patty Harper Dance! I am pleased.
~Dr. Anton Melnyk
When we pick our daughter up from her dance classes, her smile affirms the decision we made to enroll her at Patty Harper Dance Studio nine years ago. Mary, Jenna, and the amazing teachers at PHDS know how to inspire students to do their best while maintaining a positive atmosphere. The self confidence, grace, and strength that our daughter has gained through her experience has been a priceless blessing. The performance opportunities and dance destination trips have been wonderful memories that we will always cherish. We can't imagine a better studio or experience for our daughter, or our family!
~ Angela & Bobby McGlothlin