Austin Greer moved like a machine, hauling stuff from the backroom of the one-time Horton Brothers & Brown Pharmacy and former Antiques On Main space in downtown Grayson last week.
“We’ll have so much space!” his wife, dance instructor Rhiannon Greer said, practically twirling as she envisioned a pair of smaller dance rooms and one large rehearsal/classroom, “and possibly a third small room – we hope to add an adult cardio class and maybe stretching or yoga” as well as a changing room for students, office space for herself and a huge backroom for storage of costumes, props and other tools of dance.
“We were out of room,” Rhiannon said of the first Dance With Hope Studio in what many people know as “the Curves building” at the edge of Grayson, where she initially offered classes three years ago.
“The first year I worked at First National Bank and had 30 kids. It was enough to pay the bills. Then, I went five days a week last year,” she said, noting she had more than 100 students studying ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and tap when the 2020 “shut down” happened.
In addition to renovating the larger space in the heart of Grayson, Greer reports she is also becoming certified to teach Acro-Dance, which combines dance and acrobatics. “I’m really excited to offer it for the kids.”
Greer says she is not daunted by the amount of work waiting at the new studio.
“I always knew we would need to move,” she said, explaining the limitations of her former spot. “Here, we really want to do it right. We want it to look good and be home for the kids.”
Many of the tougher tasks are complete or nearly done, she said.
“The carpet was really bad, but fortunately we got started on it before I got really pregnant. That is some really stubborn glue,” she said, later reporting she was eight months along at the moment.
The Greers also had to remove the pegboard lining the walls, and haul out a massive amount of material one handful at a time.
|A large back room should be perfect for storing costumes and props, Greer said.|
“We are very lucky to have a bunch of dance parents to help with the renovation. I would say we’d be a lot further along if the virus hadn’t happened,” she said, adding “We hope to have it ready by August.”
Smiling and laughing, Greer said her renovation priorities include “Getting rid of that green out front – lime – It’s very bright.”
|Rhiannon Greer poses in the space destined to serve as her new office.|
With highly limited parking in front of the new studio Greer said the nearby merchant’s parking lot will be needed to handle their traffic. The dance studio will likely have to require a parental drop-off policy “at least for a little while,” she noted.
Returning dance students will have first choice of class times and types, Greer said, with new students and classes added as things get settled in.
For more information about Dance With Hope Studio, visit their Facebook page.
Story and Photos by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post