Stephanie’s School of Dance has been part of the city for 20 years. The studio, which celebrated its 20th annual recital in May, offers a variety of classes, including ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical and drill team prep, and it has five instructors who specialize in each genre. All classes are offered for different skill levels, except for drill team prep. The business also offers creative dance for 2-year-olds.
Stephanie Natale, an instructor and owner of the studio, started dancing before she turned 3 and has dreamed of teaching dance since she was 10.
“I used to pretend I was teaching my own class in my room when I was a kid,” Natale said. “I just loved it.”
When Natale was a senior in high school, her best friend owned a dance studio and offered Natale a teaching job. She taught throughout college, and soon after graduating she opened and taught at her own dance studio in The Woodlands for four years.
In 1998, Natale and her family moved to Pearland, and she started Stephanie’s School of Dance the following year.
It is important that the classes offered are as fun and exciting as they are instructional, Natale said.
“I want kids to love dance so that they continue to do it, in whatever shape or form they choose to do it,” Natale said. “If you don’t love something, you’re not going to continue, even if you have the talent.”
The classes are open to girls and boys ranging from 2-18 years old with any level of dance experience.
“We try to be as inclusive as possible to where anybody can join, whether you’ve had zero experience or tons,” she said. “We can find a class that fits you.”
The studio begins class sessions each August, and students are able to perform what they learned throughout the session in a recital held every May.
“A lot of kids really shine when they get on the stage, and that’s when they realize they love dance and want to come back,” Natale said.
At the end of every dance recital, the students and teachers join on stage and bow to the song “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, and for Natale this is symbolic of the studio’s goal to create an environment where students feel like they are part of a community, she said.
“I had a student that started with me when she was 2 and danced at the studio until her senior year of high school,” Natale said. “When I asked her if she will continue dancing, she said yes because the teachers and students at this studio are her dance family. … I want kids to love dance and feel like they have a dance family here.”
Stephanie’s School of Dance
6831 Broadway St., Pearland
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 4-8 p.m., closed Fri.-Sun.