To Lydia Hance, founder of the dance company Frame Dance, every body is a moving body. Since founding her company in 2010, she said she has striven to build a philosophy based on that idea.

Hance founded Frame Dance originally as a professional dance company that would perform in unconventional spaces, such as the downtown Houston tunnels. In 2014, she started the youth ensemble and multigenerational ensemble before moving into the physical space in September 2021.

The studio offers family, modern dance, ballet, adult, creative movement and ensemble classes for various age groups.

Frame Dance serves as a nonprofit and seeks to be different from the average dance studio, said Hance, who also serves as the company’s artistic director and executive director. She started dancing at age 7 and had what she describes as the typical dance education growing up, which was not always beneficial for her physical and mental health.

“There was a lot of heartbreak and heartache, and there was a lot of unhealthy competition,” Hance said. “Dance is just so comparative. In a more traditional dance education is where I really decided that I wanted to turn this around and find healthy, uplifting, joyful ways that dance education and dance in general can edify and uplift.”

From this, Hance decided to create a dance class that was for all abilities and ages. The purpose of this class, Hance said, is for people to grow and develop their artistry without being confined by the typical rules and regulations of the dance world.

During classes, instructors teach techniques that focus on how the body naturally moves and center around having a healthy body.

Frame Dance also differs from other studios in that it does not compete at dance competitions and does not have an end-of-year recital, instead opting to premiere a feature-length dance.

“That is another thing where we are not the norm,” Hance said. “I create a premiere of an evening-length performance with professional dancers, and all of our students have the opportunity to be a part of that.”

Hance and the company will be starting a residency at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in March. The company will be creating an installation that invites people to take part in movement. In the meantime, Frame Dance will continue to creatively encourage students.

“We’re teaching them these beautiful and body-honoring dances, but then we’re also training and equipping them to take their dance out to share about it and to talk about it,” Hance said.

Frame Dance

2426 Bartlett St., Ste. D, Houston


Hours: Mon. 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Tue.-Thu. 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-noon•