"When Dee and I opened in Norman, it was quite an adventure!" said Rockie Massay in an open letter on the occasion of the studio's 20th recital. So much has happened since August of 1991, it could fill a novel. Suffice it to say, over 20 years, hundreds of dancers have come through the doors of Massay's DanceStar and had their lives changed forever.
It is well proven that dance is good for the body: it provides physical exercise, develops gracefulness and stamina. But dance is also good for the soul. This studio provides a safe place for dancers to express themselves, and a family atmosphere of support. Year after year, our graduating seniors call Massay's their "home away from home."
It all started in 1991 in a one-room studio in Brookhaven village. The first recital included a solo by Rockie to Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," as well as award-winning performances by Kristen Clark (now Poarch), Jenny Zuker (now Cochell), Kerri Brackin and Ashley Streight. After 10 years, and lots of love, we moved within Brookhaven village to the old movie theater. There we opened a second room and continued to grow.
"Those first five years, when it felt like just Dee, Rockie and myself were some of the most memorable of my life," says long-time teacher Heather McCormick. "When I reminisce on the 20th Anniversary of the studio, my most vivid memories come from those first years. Like an adoptive family, they were there for my wedding, the birth of both my children, and all the highs and lows in between. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Dee has been a mentor to me both in dance and in life-- Rockie like a real sister."
We now find a home in a beautiful stand-alone building on Bart Conner Drive. Since moving in November of 2008, our DanceStars have enjoyed first two, now three, state-of-the-art dance rooms with sprung floors and professional sound equipment. The lobby is spacious and purple! It's the perfect place to curl up between classes, or bring a snack and study.
As students grow up dancing here, they must graduate. Many, however, extend their time with the DanceStars by teaching and assisting classes during college and beyond. Our alumni include Broadway dancers, collegiate pom members and Thunder Girls, as well as attorneys, dentists and school teachers, who share a little of Rockie's love to their own students.
Recently we've begun to have alumni of those first years return with the second generation of DanceStars. Those include Taylor Land Aldridge with Finley, Marissa Nuttle Adler with Alexandra, Lauren Adkins Cornwell with Campbell and Anna, and Kristin Clark Poarch with Ella. We cannot wait for more to come! What better proof that this place and the people in it continue to make a positive impact on lives.
We love celebrating all the memories of the last 30 years, and cannot wait for the blessings of the next 30 years to come!