Owner, staff stays focused on family
Owner Melanie Ped started dancing at Robin's Dance Studio when she was 6 years old. The studio has operated in Missouri City for more than 40 years, offering an expanding variety of dance education classes for students of all ages. In 1973, former owner Robin Kelley opened her first dance studio in Stafford. After a few years, Robin's Dance Studio was consolidated to a single building along Hwy. 6.
Ped became a student of Kelley's when she took her first class in ballet and tap dancing. Over the years, Ped and Kelley became close friends. Ped returned to the studio as an instructor where she taught for nearly a decade before taking over for Kelley when she retired in 2007.
"I grew up dancing here," Ped said. "Robin was very instrumental in making a shy kid realize her talent. This is a family-oriented studio. Many of the students I danced with are still close friends."
Ped said it was Kelley's goal to establish an atmosphere that was welcoming to people of all ages and backgrounds. Although the studio has been renovated and the course offerings have grown over the years, Ped said she has worked to maintain this environment.
"There is dance education for style and skill, but there's also dance education for building self-esteem and confidence," Ped said. "These are equally important here. Anyone can come here and feel good about themselves."
Robin's Dance Studio offers classes to students ages 2 and a half and up that include jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, pointe and hip hop. Recent additions include gymnastics and creative movement.
For Ped, keeping Kelley's vision of providing a close-knit, welcoming dance atmosphere catering to all ages and talents remains a high priority.
"It is our goal to make everyone feel like they are part of the Robin's family and always will be," she said.
Robin Kelley, former owner of Robin's Dance Studio, remains actively involved in dance culture and with her former students.
After retiring in 2007, Kelley developed PB&J Dancemates—a dance program that uses stuffed doll Patty Bourree and her pet cat Jete along with children's books written by Kelley to help keep students focused and educate young children about dance culture. The program has grown in popularity and has been implemented at Robin's Dance Studio and in studios throughout the country.
"[PB&J] is a fun tool to use for class," Ped said. "It makes [the classes] more interactive for the kids."
Company dancers particpate in community events throughout the year.
- Parent's night out is hosted monthly at the studio beginning Oct. 18 and includes activities, crafts and dinner.
- Students will travel to Mobile, Ala. on Nov. 1 for DanceMakers—a national convention and competition.
- Dancers perform in a holiday recital at the Stafford Civic Center at 1415 Constitution Ave. on Dec. 13.
- Students put on a recital at the Stafford Centre at 10505 Cash Road on May 17.
Expanded course offerings
Robin's Dance Studio began offering gymnastics and creative movement classes for the first time this year.
- The gymnastics program offers beginners, intermediate and advanced gymnastics classes for students ages 4 and up. Classes are taught by National Champion gymnast Shelby Kisiel.
- Creative movement classes are offered for students ages 2–4. Jennifer Wright leads the class.
- Master classes are also available.
Robin's Dance Studio
Hours: Mon.–Wed.: 4–9 p.m., Thu.: 3:30–8 p.m., Sat.: 8:30–10:30 a.m.