Leann Musick developed a love for dance during her pre-teen years that carried through her adulthood. She recalls writing in her diary, at 15, that her dream was to one day own a dance studio. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration and working in the restaurant industry for 14 years, she dusted off that journal and put those teenage dreams into adult reality, opening Musick Studios in Downtown Owensboro.
For Leann it has been very important to make sure the students at her studio have opportunities that not only showcase their talents, but also build character and leadership. This job has been made easier by parents who are likeminded in seeing the dancers succeed in all areas of their lives.
For parent Leslie Douglas, sitting back and letting things come to these kids was not an option. Being a proactive parent, she reached out to many national, professional sports organizations, sending them videos of the Musick Studios dance teams to see if they would be given an opportunity to perform the pre-game, or better yet, the half-time show at game.
Leann says that her focus has been on what takes place in the four walls of the studio, teaching dance, and Leslie’s goal was to showcase the talented kids and the dances they’ve worked so diligently to perfect.
Leslie’s hard work paid off, when Leann received a call that the Musick Studio All-Stars dance team was invited to perform July 17, 2014, in Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Convention Center as the half-time entertainment for the WNBA Indianapolis Fever.
She said, as the business woman, yes it was surreal, but felt it important to maintain her composure as she accepted the invitation and prepared to tell her students. Once in the presence of the kids, she screamed in excitement with them because she knew it was all about them and the hard work and talents that had gotten them to this performance.
All-Star teams are made up of four different groups; mini, youth, junior and senior. The kids, both boys and girls, range in age from 6 to 19. All four groups were a part of the big event.
The nerves for the students were minimal as many of them were used to the competition world, but the excitement of this particular performance still created healthy, motivational jitters. Musick admits they cried, but says, “Being in the arena – they were so happy – they cried tears of joy.”
Preparation for the half-time show came from success in past experiences and that in as little as three days the group, all ages, had the three-minute performance down. They were nervous, but ready! The All-Star Team was not able to practice on the court prior to their performing but the day before Daviess County Middle School allowed the group to use their gymnasium floor. Though it was their first time on the Fever’s court, Musick says, “They nailed it!”
Musick says they were not in glitz or glam outfits but adorably dressed in coordinating sweatpants and t-shirts ready to show off their hip-hop skills to the eager crowd. As if a group of proud parents, the audience embraced their routine and social media began firing Tweets like #bestdanceteamatfevergame.
The kids were absolutely encouraged by all of the love they received from the Fever crowd that day. It was further evidence that what their parents, and Musick, had been instilling was true – “When you give 110%, it will come back to you.”
The return was very quick on this investment. At 8 a.m., on July 18, Musick was contacted by the NBA Indiana Pacers staff to provide a performance this season at a Pacers game, date to be announced.
The future looks bright for these kids! Musick’s goal would be to see her students be recognized in the competition world and one day appear on ESPN. She says, “It’s a ride you hang on for – it’s a journey (you’re constantly preparing for.”
It’s proof that one parent’s dream for her daughter’s dance team to “just dance” proved to fulfill dreams well beyond one experience, a challenge to all parent’s put on their dancing shoes to help their kids dance into a successful future.