Dance studio

Stacey’s dance studio celebrates 30 years in a habitable forest, a massive new installation

Stacey Wilms has loved dancing since she was 3 years old.

She was so dedicated that her father built a stage in the backyard of their home in Omaha, Neb. Wilms enjoyed performing in the spotlight for family and friends.

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Performing and dancing became her lifelong passion which she pursued for three decades at Stacey’s Dance Studio in Kingwood.

“Even as a little girl, I spent every moment of my life making up dances,” she said. “Nothing makes my heart happier than being in a small room with children teaching them how to dance. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve enjoyed the past 30 years and can’t wait to see more new faces every day.

Wilms, 55, celebrated 30 years as a dance teacher in the Kingwood area shortly after opening a brand new 20,000 square foot studio located at the intersection of West Lake Houston Parkway and Kingwood Drive. She moved into the new studio in December.

The former Nebraska cheerleader has 10 dance stages and can serve boys and girls of all ages in addition to adults in the new studio. Stacey’s Dance Studio also offers classes for children with special needs.

Wilms opened at a strip club in Kingwood with 15 students, so now she’s happy to have the dance studio she’s always dreamed of.

“Thirty years flies when you’re having a good time,” Wilms said as tears streamed down her eyes. “I feel so grateful. Few people can do what they love. I do what I love and I get paid for it. It’s almost bad sometimes. Every day isn’t perfect, but every time as I enter, I can see the happy face of a child and everything changes.

After 30 years, Wilms has taught two generations of Kingwood families. She can tell younger children that they look like their mother as they move around the studio.

Stacey’s dance studio resides at 2755 W. Lake Houston Pkwy in a building that was vacant for two years after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Kingwood area.

The developer who owned the building did not expect to sell the 20,000 square foot site. However, Wilms asked to buy it and soon after a deal was struck.

The journey to his dream studio was punctuated with trials and tribulations. However, she always had her faith by her side to help her through difficult times.

His old studio was located on Northpark Drive and was unaffected by Harvey, but that didn’t stop Wilms from helping the Kingwood community. She opens her workshop and offers her washing machines to people who cannot clean their clothes.

“We went through so much at Kingwood,” Wilms said. “Harvey has been devastating and now dealing with COVID has had its challenges. But we always find a way to help each other. I just felt like I had to do something, and I gave away my washing machines to people who needed them because people really had nothing back then.

As a business owner, Wilms had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, so she adapted. Her staff was doing Zoom classes to help everyone keep dancing at home.

She also made the decision to halve the course prices, but many community members offered to pay the full amount.

“The fact that people are still paying the full amount has opened my eyes,” an emotional Wilms said. “They didn’t have to do that at all. I also had to keep paying my staff because that’s how they make their living – I had to take care of my staff.

The dance studio reopened in June 2020 and it looked a little different with masks, hand sanitizing stations and temperature checks, but Wilms was just happy to be back in her lab.

Most days, you can find her wandering the halls of the facility, helping out and talking to dancers of all age groups.

She said she tries to get to know each dancer and can show up just to ask them a question. Personal relationships are important, she says.

Thirty years is a long time for a business to stay open, but Wilms is happy to continue teaching dance to the Lake Houston area.

“You know you always want to be innovative and make sure you’re doing new things, but it’s always just dancing,” Wilms said. “Dance brings us together. People can come here, and it’s a safe place for them. It’s a place where kids can come and just focus on dancing and leave everything else behind. Many of these children love to dance and have a lot of fun doing it. I intend to continue to be here for these children and to pursue my passion for dance.

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Twitter: @MarcG14Line