Knight said she has always loved dance. Her mother, Kay Bily, owned a studio for 18 years in northwest Houston, where Knight danced from preschool to high school. During college, Knight made extra money teaching dance.
“One of my mom’s former students had a studio, and I would sub and teach in the summer,” she said. “That’s where I fell in love with teaching dance to kids.”
During college, she drove to Austin once a week for private tap lessons for fun. As she neared the completion of her degree, she realized she wanted to make a career out of dancing after all.
Using money she earned during college, a 27-year-old Knight opened Leap Dance Center in Katy in September 2017. The building, a 10,000-square-foot dance studio, was custom designed and built by Knight and her family. Every detail was crafted with dance in mind, she said, from the same-size rooms to the interlocking sprung floors.
Leap Dance Center offers classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and acrobatic arts. Knight said no child is ever too old to learn to dance nor is any child made to feel inferior for wanting to dance as a hobby instead of joining a competitive team.
The classes fill up fast, she said. Acrobatic arts—the most popular—fills up the fastest.
“I’ll release the schedule for the fall in April, and they are full in a week,” she said. “This year we added three classes after the year started, and they’re full. There are waiting lists a mile long.”
Knight said she felt frustrated due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the teacher shortage it brought prevented her from giving kids on waitlists the opportunity to learn.
Dance classes start at $82 per month plus a registration fee, recital fee and costume fee. Classes run in sync with the school year. In the future, Knight sees herself continuing to manage Leap Dance.
“I think I’ll always be here managing,” Knight said. “I like being here. I like getting to know the people, using the studio, teaching the little ones. ... It’s not a chore; it’s a job I actually enjoy.”
- Classes include ballet, tap, acrobatic arts, jazz and hip-hop.
- Parents can watch their children practice via livestream in one of the two waiting rooms.
- A playroom for little siblings is available on the second story.
- Shoes and costumes can be bought in bundles at the start of the school year.
Leap Dance Center
10452 Gaston Road, Katy
Hours: Mon-Thu. 3:30-8:15 p.m., closed Fri.-Sun.