In the 1990s, Fenton Fulgham had his eyes set on a corner storefront located in the same shopping center in east Plano where he taught hip-hop dance and kickboxing at the time.
Then in September 2017, Fulgham finally signed the lease on that corner storefront, where he now operates his business, Fenton’s Dance Factory.
“The funny thing about it is, I’ve always wanted this space,” Fulgham said. “Back when I was here with Knockout Fitness, I always would say ‘Man, this would be a great spot.’ But it was a shoe place at that time, and then it turned into a Rent-A-Center.”
Fulgham said the open floorplan of the storefront allowed him to fully customize the studio layout, including three dance rooms and an industrial-style layout to match the name of his business.
Having worked in the dance industry for decades, Fulgham said he knows how rigorous the work can be for his younger students.
“My thing is it’s about the kids,” Fulgham said. “And it’s about having fun. We’ve got this saying for this year: it’s, ‘You work hard, you play hard.’ … It’s nothing about me.”
Fulgham puts that saying into practice by keeping the atmosphere light, rewarding his students when they remember their routines and by reducing the students’ amount of time spent in the studio each week.
“We take two hours a week, so they have time for other things,” Fulgham said. “They have time for homework. But the thing about our kids is when they’re here for two hours, they work, and they absorb. … And we win, which is incredible.”
With trophies from his wins lining the hallway of his studio, Fulgham said one of his crowning achievements in his career as a choreographer was sending a group of his 12-year-old students to a national championship.
“They were with me since they were six, so I knew this was a special group, so I kept them together,” Fulgham said. “We have never won a national championship until those 12-year-olds did it. And I’m talking about, the whole place erupted.”
Fenton’s Dance Factory
910 W. Parker Road, Plano