Huff 'n Puff 2016 Dance Staff at 2016 Recital. From left to right are Ms. Laurel (my daughter), Ms. Bri, Ms. Lois and Ms. Daisy. This is actually three generations of dance - please see story below.
I want to tell you a story - and possibly it's a story that no one will see, but if you know me at all, you know that I'm going to tell it anyway. Many of you know that I started this business by teaching Rhythmic Aerobics (dance aerobics) back in 1979. In 1980, I opened up my location in Gregory Place, in an unfinished spot that I had to complete. It was suggested to me by some of my aerobics students that I bring in dance teachers. Laurel was ten years old then and, by chance, I brought in some very good dance instructors and Laurel began taking dance. She seemed to have a knack for dance - especially tap. At ten years old, she started teaching tap to some of us adults - and later taught us jazz, as well. She continued taking dance through Huff 'n Puff and then began taking tap from such well-known dance notables as Ms. Dot Callanan, Tony Boles, Joel Ruminar and Michael Glascock.
When Ms. Laurel returned to Huff 'n Puff in 1996, she began teaching dance and gymnastics to preschoolers. The next year she took over the dance and gymnastics departments. Within a year, she had both departments drawing attention from the local communities. Twins Kim and Jennifer Holliday started with us when they were five years old and Ms. Lois and Ms. Lindsey came when Ms. Lois was in junior high and Lindsey was younger. These four girls, and several other good dancers, formed the core of Jacksonville Dance Company when Laurel started it. These four girls continued dancing with us until they graduated from high school, while also continuing to teach for us. Ms. Kim and Jennifer went on to get teaching degrees and Ms. Lois went to nursing school. Ms. Kim, who came back to teach dance this past fall, is a kingergarten teacher in Sherwood and is about to have for first baby (girl!!!). Ms. Jennifer is at Sylvan Hills High School (where both she and Kim were cheerleaders on the squad that won a national championship) and Ms. Jennifer is there now coaching cheerleading with the instructor who taught them. And she is coaching several of the girls who were students of our dance and gymnastics teams for years. Ms. Lois has continued to be a part of Huff 'n Puff and Jacksonville Dance Company for a number of years, while continuing her nursing careeer. And guess who took dance from all three (four if you count Lindsey) dance instructors - Ms. Bri !!! (And Bri was also a dancer with JDC.) And now Ms. Bri, while attending UALR, is teaching dance to your children and Ms. Lois is teaching the JDC dancers, who have also grown up with us. In fact, one of the young grandmothers took aerobics from me, and her daughter (the mom) of our JDC dancer and soloist, also took dance from us. And, on another note, Ms. Daisy took gymnastics from us.
We are so grateful to these instructors and to Ms. Laurel for carrying on such a family tradition. We are especially grateful to our former instructors and staff members who have been so loyal to us over the years. Pictures are posted below.
On another note (additional information). Ms. April, who is the mother of Tori, dancer and soloist in JDC, used to play in our nursery while her mother took aerobics from me. More - Ms. Andi's two girls took dance from us and were both in JDC - Ms. Andi has been here at Huff 'n Puff for over 20 years. Ms. Shelly's daughter Kaitlin (who also coaches for us during summer and when she is home from college at ASU Jonesboro) danced with us for sixteen years until she graduated from high school. She was also a cheerleader from junior high through senior year and has been a cheerleader at ASU for two years. Ms. Jackie York's two children--Stephanie and Michael, who both danced in JDC and took team gymnastics from us and who have coached for us (and Stephanie was an ASU cheerleader for several years also;) and Michael, and senior at U of A, coaches gymnastics for a large team in Fayetteville. Ms. Jackie Cross's daughter danced with us in JDC and Jackie's granddaughter is on Level Three team, so when I say that it is a family affair around here, I mean it! And Mae, gymnast and another soloist and dancer with JDC, is daughter of Ms. Kristina, who is in charge of our After School Program. And as I said above - we are eternally grateful to each and every one of these ladies. Pictures of Ms. Lois, Ms. Bri are shown above and Ms. Kim and Ms. Jennifer are shown below. And then, I realized that I forgot two very important young ladies, Laurel's daughters, Tori and Madi (my granddaughters) had been in gymnastics since they were three or younger, and competed in both gymnastics team and JDC should not be forgotten. Ms. Tori, who is a senior at UALR, has coached for us for several years. And Madi is a Level Nine gymnast with our Jax Gym Team. Is it any wonder we are such a proud organization!!! (This was written in 2016.)
Additional note - our three dance instructors (2017-2018) have all been a part of Huff 'n Puff Dance Programs and also been a part of the Jacksonville Dance Company.
Ms. Bri, Ms. Lois and Ms. Daisy - 2016
A Story of Family and Love and Loyalty over the Years - 1980 to 2016
The dance program at Huff 'n Puff consists of recreational and competitive dance classes. The Clinic for Jacksonville Dance Company (JDC) was held in early August, followed by the audition. The schedule for JDC classes will be posted soon. Ms. Lois Bryan is the Director for JDC. The recreational classes are taught by Hannah Jones and Mattie Taylor, along with Ms. Lois - pictures of all three instructors are shown below the schedule - which follows:
Ballet, Tap and Tumble, Ages 3 to 5 Mon 6:30 Hannah
Ballet, Tap and Tumble, Ages 3 to 5 Tue 4:30 Mattie
Ballet, Tap and Tumble, Ages 3 to 5 Wed 5:45 Mattie
Ballet, Tap and Tumble, Ages 3 to 5 Thu 6:00 Lois
Ages Five - Six - Beginning Mon 5:30 Hannah
Ages Five - Six - Ongoing Wed 6:15 Mattie
Ages Seven - Nine Ongoing Tue 5:00 Mattie
Ballet, Tap and Tumble
Jazz, Tap and Ballet
Ages Five - Six Mon 4:30 Hannah
Ages Seven to Nine Tue 6:00 Mattie
Ages Ten to Twelve Mon 7:00 Hannah