GRAYSON – Soaring through the air and training for a perfect pirouette, ballerinas are being shaped into something more than just dancers. Nestled along U.S. 60, Dance with Hope studio is the stage where director Rhiannon Greer wants her students to become prosperous adults upon graduation.

“They have a chance to learn so much from dance. I think it helps them when they become adults,” said Greer. “My goal is to have good working citizens when they leave here.”

Whether it is interviewing skills, perseverance or general confidence, dancing aids that, she said.

“There’s blood, there’s sweat, there’s tears, but they love it,” said Greer, who started dancing when she was 2 years old. “The passion that they have is what makes me want to continue because I have the passion myself.”

Greer landed her first job as a performer with Carnival Cruise line during her time in the dance program at Morehead State University. She quickly realized that her heart was with teaching.

“So, I came home and decided to open up a studio of my own,” said Greer, a Carter County native.

Greer said no matter the mental, physical or financial situation she wanted dance to be something available to everyone.

“I know there is a lot of struggle in this community so I want to make sure if there is a little kid, if there is a girl or boy that wants to dance, I want to make sure they can,” said Greer.

Fifteen-year-old Lia Rice said she was shy, but dance gave her a way to show what she feels inside.

“It gives me expression,” said Rice, who has been at the studio for three years. “It’s formal but we get to have fun.”

Greer offers pre pointe/technique, jazz, tap and lyrical dance classes. Pre pointe classes are designed for young students to gain strength before moving into the classical pointe shoe with a squared toe.

The studio prepared for their first time at the Encore Talent Productions National Dance Competition where they will give solo, duet and group performances.

“We are pretty excited. It is a big step,” said Greer.

Greer said she puts an emphasis on performance over competition. She said competing is fun and a great experience but at the end of the day, it’s just a trophy. Dance is more than that for Greer, which is why she chose the name for the studio.

“So, Dance with Hope is not a person,” said Greer. “I want them to have hope and know they are always going to get better and everything will get better with time.”

The studio is at 603 W. Main St. in Grayson and more information can be found on their Facebook page at Dance with Hope Studio.

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