She has since performed in various musicals, movies and plays, including the Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and the movie “Urban Cowboy.” Schapiro has taught in the Houston area for the last 45 years but relocated her dance studio from Cypress to Tomball six years ago.
Schapiro said she keeps traditional family values as a top priority, aiming for a more conservative approach to costume design and choreography than other dance studios may take.
“[We are] not conservative based on religion or on politics, but based on the fact that we want our little girls to be little girls,” Schapiro said. “We want our older girls to present themselves so that the parents can sit in the audience and be proud.”
The dance studio, which has about 100 members, offers hip-hop, jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, contemporary, and turns and leaps classes for children age 3 and older in beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Students are placed in classes by age and skill level, Schapiro said.
Schapiro said her dance management philosophy comes from her experiences with former dance teacher Patsy Swayze, mother of actor Patrick Swayze, who inspired Schapiro to become a teacher.
“I don’t care if your child is tall, short, fat, skinny, Christian, Buddhist, black, white or whatever—if you come in here and dance your feet off, you’re in the company,” Schapiro said.
Many of her students have gone on to professional careers in New York, Las Vegas, Italy and Japan, she said, and some have danced for the Houston Rockets, Houston Texans, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.
“We do a very good job of teaching the fundamentals here so the students can go on to bigger things,” Schapiro said.
Joee Schapiro School of Dance
24922 Hwy. 249,
Ste. 122, Tomball
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 4-7 p.m., closed Fri.-Sun.