When Laura Neeves was 2 years old, she kept falling off the balance beam that her “dad” Bill Neeves had built for her.
“Don’t look at your feet to see where you are,” his grandfather told him. “Look at your aim at the end of the beam and you won’t fall.”
Today Laura Neeves Branfuhr, 27, married with three children, is the founder and director of the Silver Lining Dance Academy. [SLDA].
With more than 200 students – including 27 boys – and seven staff members, SLDA is a 501 C(3) nonprofit ministry whose founder states, “We make no apologies for being a Christian dance academy based in the faith.
Branfuhr was 12 when another homeschooler, a 6-year-old girl, asked if she would teach him to dance.
Branfuhr’s father, Steven Neeves, still remembers pushing the living room couch out of the way, and the preteen started teaching dance once a week.
It was September 2001. By Christmas, she had three students. In May, she was seven.
“I was getting $5 an hour to babysit, so I charged $5 an hour to teach dance,” she says.
By age 15, Branfuhr had 30 students and was teaching at two home-schooling co-ops, one in Conway and one in Surfside Beach.
“We carried everything from rolling floors to boom boxes from place to place,” recalls her mother, Whitney Neeves, who is SLDA’s executive director.
When the young dancer graduated from high school, the family rented a facility at 3723 Forestbrook Road in Myrtle Beach. Eventually, the studio space was doubled, but the 2,400 square foot facility is once again too small.
The website is www.silverliningmb.com and the phone number is 843-236-6226.
You can follow the academy on Facebook at Silver Lining Dance Academy and on Instagram at @SilverLiningMB.
What sets SLDA apart from other dance studios is Branfuhr’s decision to make it a ministry, rooted in Christian values, reflecting the staff’s belief in God.