FRANKLIN — Creative Steps School of Dance is celebrating 20 years in the Lakes Region with its year-end production, “CSTEPS Throwback,” at Gilford High School today at 2 p.m. The show will highlight many of the dances performed from the past 20 years.
When Creative Steps opened in 1998, it had one instructor in a single room; now it has multiple rooms with students from all over the state coming to their studio in Franklin.
Sue Harrington and her husband Troy founded Creative Steps with the goal of providing top-quality dance education in a fun, rewarding, and nurturing environment to students in the Lakes Region.
“We opened the dance studio originally in Tilton, as there was not a lot of education for the performing arts in this area,” Harrington said. “I was traveling a half-hour to 45 minutes to teach at other dance studios when there was a real need in my hometown for the performing arts, so I felt a need to fill the void.”
Creative Steps School of Dance opened as an educational service designed for students to have a fun, family-orientated and safe atmosphere in which to learn poise, coordination, and self-confidence through the discipline of dance.
“Dance is so much more than just learning steps or something to do after school.” Harrington said. “The boys and girls who come through our door learn not just coordination and dance steps, but valuable life lessons like teamwork, self-confidence, persistence, discipline and hard work.”
Students learn genres that include ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop.
“Can’t is not in our vocabulary,” Harrington says. “You are only as strong as you push yourself” is another backbone message of the studio.
“The past 20 years have not always been easy,” Harrington said. “We have fought to keep the dance studio going despite a bad economy and some personal struggles for these kids.”
The Twin Rivers area has had its own share of struggles, yet parents have seen the value of putting their children in a program like Creative Steps, she said.
“It’s heartwarming to see the sacrifices parents are willing to make for their children to have such a gift as the performing arts in their life,” she said.
Creative Steps students have been invited to dance at Disney World, and the studio received several choreography awards and was highlighted in Dance Spirit Magazine as one of the top studios on the move. Dancers have gone on to lead successful lives, including architects, doctors, veterinarians, school teachers, and dancers. Some have become Patriots cheerleaders, dance instructors, performers, and even featured on the current hit TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” Creative Steps dancer Eddie Hoyt of Boscawen was highlighted for his talent a few weeks ago.
Creative Steps is located at 20 Canal St. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.