Dancing a life's passion at Audra's Dance Studio
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[September 24, 2008]
Audra's School of Dance, located at 214 S.
McLean St. in Lincoln, offers a wide variety of activity for anyone ranging from
3 years of age to ... well, there is no age limit actually. The school's
enrollment averages about 200 students per year. Owner Audra Turley, who has
been a dancer since the tender age of 3 herself and is a Lincoln native, has
been helping children and adults for two decades to tap, clog, ballet and even
tumble their way through the numerous courses that she offers. Other exciting
dance techniques offered are Celtic and jazz.
Turley's dance career began right here in Lincoln under the teaching
of the well-known local instructor Bernadeane Grimm. In Audra's
early teens she had the privilege to assist Bernadeane with teaching
certain classes and soon after had the opportunity to learn an
entirely new dance technique called clogging.
Both teacher and pupil
soon agreed that clogging should be brought to the Lincoln area and
offered to all willing to learn. Thus, the famous Flying Feet Cloggers team was born. The cloggers have since become national
title winners in their class. The competition dance team has also
received the highest accolade, claiming three national wins.
When Audra finished high school, she went on to college and
completing her master's degree in ballet art and musical art from
Western Kentucky University. With a love for teaching planted within
her at such a young age, she knew just where she was heading after
college. She co-owned the Lincoln dance studio with Bernadeane Grimm
from 1988 to 1997, and in 1997 she became sole owner.
The school has seen older dance students use the classes for
physical therapy purposes. At one time Audra had a student who was
almost 70 years old and was taking ballet to help with her arthritis
The school's focus for the young students is for them to gain skills
such as good balance, body and muscle control, and good
coordination. Most importantly to Audra, and what has made the
school so successful, is the gain in self-esteem that the classes
offer a child. The self-esteem factor is worked in through the
social outlet that the classes provide and learning how to work well
with others, encouraging classmates through their learning process.
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There is one recital every year, but participating is not
mandatory. Knowing that it is very difficult for some students to
get on stage, Audra states, "I do not pressure any of my students to
perform in the recital." She adds, "I do encourage them, though, to
try and help them get over the stage fright. It really does boost
them in the end."
Some of her students make sure to stay a part of the school even
after high school graduation. "There is definitely a family feel
with all of the girls," says Audra, "especially with the ones who
stay all throughout. A real bond is formed." She adds that many of
them stay in close contact with each other as they get married and
start families of their own.
As for Audra, she will stay here in Lincoln, continuing to
instruct and mold new generations of dancers, passing on to them her
love and passion for the performing arts.
Audra resides in Lincoln with her husband, Brian, and their
6-year-old daughter, Faith.
For further information on the classes offered at Audra's Studio
of Dance, contact her at 732-9137.
[By JANELL WOOLARD]