Amy Blake's Academy of Dance mentors, trains dancers for life ahead

Amy Blake's Academy of Dance
Amy Blake opened her dance studio in 1997. The business teaches students how to dance professionally and casually. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Amy Blake opened her dance studio in 1997. The business teaches students how to dance professionally and casually. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
(Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
(Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
After dancing professionally with the Houston Ballet Academy, Amy Blake knew she wanted to bring movement to more Houstonians, she said.

Blake’s passion led her to open Amy Blake’s Academy of Dance in 1997 and grow the business to where it is today, providing both a creative outlet and mentorship for dancers age 3 and up.

“I wanted to continue giving the love of dance out,” she said.

Blake first opened the academy in Clear Lake then relocated to 410 E. Edgewood Drive, Friendswood, in 2010. She has used her connections within the industry to bring some of the most qualified professionals to the academy as instructors.

The academy works with dancers at all levels, from those interested in dancing for fun to those hoping to establish a dance-related career.

“They can come to the studio and not be pressured,” Blake said of those dancing as a recreational hobby. “I don’t want to be a mega studio; I don’t need that; it’s the quality of the instruction we are giving [that sets us apart].”

Academy members can learn dance styles such as ballet, tap, hip-hop, jazz, modern and musical theater; adult ballet and hip-hop classes are also offered, but those have been on hold due to the pandemic.

Aside from mentoring its learners, the studio does as much outreach as possible through recitals. During the holiday season, 40 to 50 dancers will put on a performance of “The Nutcracker” at nursing homes and shelters—although the performances could not be held this year due to COVID-19—and the Merging Forces concerts assist different charitable organizations each season.

The studio provided virtual instruction, along with weekly check-ins, during the first pandemic shutdown and resumed in-person classes in late May. The work instructors do with students is essential amid COVID-19, Blake said, to give young dancers a chance to strive for success and be proud of their work amid social isolation and other stressors.

“Dance has helped a lot of these kids get through a lot of things that have been really hard,” Blake said.
By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.


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