A dancer since she was 2, Miller had worked for Austin and Pflugerville ISDs.
“I was a special education teacher and dance instructor,” said Miller, who is the principal owner. “I always wanted a studio, and I had other friends who had opened their own studios. They said to me, ‘You’ve just got to do it and go for it.’ So that’s what I did.”
Hip-hop, jazz, tap and dance team are offered, but to become proficient in any style, Miller said a foundation in ballet is essential.
“We stress the importance of a solid ballet foundation, since ballet is the foundation of dance,” she said, adding that the discipline improves posture, balance, flexibility and agility.Miller said the majority of her clientele is under 18, and one of her most popular classes is beginning ballet for ages 5-7.
To keep young children engaged, Miller said she uses creative scenarios. Instead of practicing ballet moves across the floor, they are instead traveling through a frozen forest to an enchanted tree while avoiding rock monsters.
Little do they know, they are learning fundamental ballet moves along the way, Miller said.
“That’s big for me, keeping it fun,” she said. “I love working with children.” Miller has bachelor’s degrees in special education and dance. With her background in special education, Miller welcomes dancers of all abilities.
One of her classes, Dance Without Limits, is specifically for dancers with special needs.
“We hope to continue fostering a dance environment that welcomes individuals with special needs,” she said.Miller said she continues to keep class sizes small—despite having two spacious, mirrored studios lined with barres and floors that provide exceptional shock absorption.
Miller said she hopes to cultivate a special relationship with all her dancers. “I want us to be a dance family,” she said.
J Marie Dance Studio
15609 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Ste. B350, Leander
Hours: Mon. 3-8:45 p.m.; Tues. 9:45-11:15 a.m., 3:30-7:30 p.m.; Wed. 9:45-11:45 a.m., 3:30-8:15 p.m.; Thu. 3:45-9 p.m.; Fri. 3:45-6:30 p.m.; Sat. 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; closed Sun.