Where have the past thirty years gone???

Thank you for thirty years of allowing me to create a place about which I am so passionate. A dance studio that I didn’t have growing up as a child. A “safe” place where everyone is welcome and everyone is embraced for who they are and what they bring. A place that I truly believe is much more than a dance studio, in a world that needs something different.

I have had the honor of being allowed to teach so much to so many over the past 30 years, but have definitely learned as much, if not more, than my students. Working with the public in an industry that is so competitive and drama-filled is the most “interesting” thing for me. I say “interesting” not because I agree with this side, but because it has only given me more and more reassurance that the route I have chosen for PUD is, in my eyes, the route that is so clear.

I come from a background in dance where I’ve been a part of it all: competitive dance, professional performance, team director, teacher, choreographer, and judge. I have literally seen and done it all - and starting at a young age. From this experience, I can say first-hand how easy it is to get caught up in the “win” at a competition, or to always have that thrill of being #1. Despite an initial early direction in which this studio and its students were competing and traveling to so many different states for national finals (and winning many top awards), I never got that feeling of accomplishment. The accolades and awards never seemed necessary to confirm what I knew we had accomplished.

Dance is an art; and art is viewed in so many ways. I never wanted my students to feel that winning a competition made them better than another dancer, because dance is an ART. More so, it is an expression and stylization seen and liked differently by each individual judge. “Right” and “wrong” may have their place in many situations, like sports. But art lives free of this black and white interpretation.

My idea of dance and what I wanted to create could not have been further from “right” and “wrong.” Students in this studio learn technique, poise, and confidence in a way that makes them truly original. It approaches dance technique in a whole new way; a way that allows them to stand out and be able to adapt to whatever style, instruction, and interpretation that is presented to them. This is why our students develop so much more than the ability to dance. To have to think outside the box in every class not only makes them the dancer to get chosen for that music video, but it will certainly help them succeed in other aspects of their life, and even to become that doctor (if that’s what they choose) who I would want to entrust with my health!

It has been thirty years of creating new and exciting things that have allowed our dancers to grow as true performers, while remaining true to the philosophy to which I will always adhere. PUD has always been and will always be a place for students to grow as unique dancers and people, allowing them to develop into the type of people we want as our friends, neighbors, and future leaders. Teaching technique is the easy part; artistry and creativity is the hard part! Teaching our students how to dance is only one part of our job. Teaching them to learn a step, then project it in so many different ways, then add the style needed for that routine, then be able to stay true to their own unique look is a whole different story! Encouraging each individual to step outside their comfort zone and take chances is the most important thing we attempt to do. I see it every day, students taking chances and being encouraged to “Be Different.” They are the bright spot in our future - leaders in a world where many only copy or follow.

I’ve enjoyed watching the impact PUD has made on so many students who are doing so many incredible things in life, and, as a parent, that is exactly what I want my kids to be around. If only the walls could talk… Thank you to everyone for keeping PUD a special place in your heart!

Love, Ann

A "Thank You” to My Students for 30 Years

It is with gratitude, joy, and a humbled heart that I look back on 30 years of amazing students here at PUD. I am fortunate enough to say that even after so many years and so many classes, I still don’t look at what I do as a job, but as a privilege. I was lucky enough to find a passion in my life that I could not only have as a singular career by dancing professionally, but as a dual career by being able to share it with others.

Working in the industry, I became well aware of what it takes to forge a profession in the entertainment industry, but also aware that the same skill set learned in the classroom can cause you to stand out in whatever career path you may choose. I have been blessed to be able to share my knowledge with the most wonderful students. To teach steps and technique is one thing, but to see you, my students, develop a love for the art of dance is another.

I know I come in each and every week and expect only your best. Not the best compared to those around you, but that next level of improvement and growth within yourself. That feeling when you think you couldn’t possibly do it any more “full out” or “hit it any harder,” I’m there to let you know you CAN because I can see that little bit more you have inside. Each and every week, I go into that classroom knowing I don’t want you to blend in or not draw attention to yourself, but to stand out. Each and every night after class, I leave hoping you saw the improvement that I saw, and feel that much more confident when you walk through the door the next week.

The two things you can always expect from me in class are honesty and a push. That honest look in my face that you all know, full of love, that says “we are going to try that again” because I know you’ve got more in you than you just gave. Or that honest look of joy as I see when you give it 100% and dance from your heart. Most of you know that’s the excitement I can’t keep contained as I watch you perform!

Thirty-five years ago someone literally gave me that push as I stood paralyzed with fear and with tears running down my face at the side of the stage thinking I couldn’t get out there and perform in front of all those people. But thank goodness she did or I wouldn’t be the dancer or the person I am today. Sometimes we all need that extra push! I thank you for letting me be a part of your lives, not only as your teacher, but also your friend, and for coming in each week and reminding me why I love teaching so much.

You are not only amazing dancers, performers, and entertainers, but most importantly, you are wonderful people. Thank you for letting me share your love for dance!!

Love, Lisa



Happy 25th Anniversary to Picture Us Different!

We were so excited to share this anniversary with you,
the community that supported us for so long!

From all of our students over the years, to parents,
families, and friends, our past and present teaching staff,
and everyone that has ever attended a PUD Show,
we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

We still have dancers from "the basement days" with us today, more than 25 years later... and we have a whole bunch of new students dancing with us for the first time, too!
Each and every one of you helps us grow
and be the best studio that we can be.
We love you!

Thanks for a fantastic first 25 years,
and cheers to many, many more to come!





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1011 N. Northwest Highway - 847.692.3600 - www.puddance.com