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Conversations with Chrissy Lake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chrissy Lake.

Hi Chrissy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
I started teaching on my own in 2001. I was instructing at multiple studios in the St. Louis area. This was fun and exciting, but I ultimately wanted to find my own home. Sloan’s dance studio reached out to me in 2013 to guest choreograph one Acro routine. That Acro routine was their first national award-winning group. I returned the following year to choreograph another routine. Mary, the owner of Sloan’s, sat me down in 2015 and said they were looking for teachers and someone full-time. She wanted someone permanent who could take the studio to the next level. I commuted between St. Louis and west Frankfort during my first year here. This was about a 2-hour drive one way. After that first year and taking on more routines and choreography, I decided to move to West Frankfort, Illinois, to be closer to the studio. I officially accepted the position and became Sloan’s dance studio and artistic director. Since then, I have taken routines to world dance championships. We have auditioned for the world of dance. We have been on Americas got talent. The studio’s groups, solos, duets, and trios have all won several regional championships, national championships, and the world title. We continue to grow yearly by adding some of the best choreographers, attending multiple conventions, and adequate training each week.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Like every studio owner or director, there are always struggles. One of the main struggles I encountered was finding a good balance between school activities and their dance schedule. I believe that participating in school activities is extremely important. I pride myself on working around schedules so the kids don’t have to choose and can do it all.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I teach a variety of dance styles. I ranged from lyrical, jazz, Acro, and contemporary. Each style has the flavor that accompanies it. If you were to ask others about me to others, they would tell you that I am known for my high-flying, powerful, acrobatic routines. I love the adrenaline and the show Acro provides the judges and the audience. I want them to always be on the edge of their seat. When a student accomplishes their season goals, it makes me proud. My proudest moments as a dance teacher include winning a world championship, having students on America’s Got Talent, a student recovering a perfect national score, undefeated routines, attending The Dance Awards, and watching my kids grow into incredible dancers, teachers, and choreographers.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Find somebody who shares your passion, supports you and pushes you to grow as a dancer, teacher, or choreographer. I enjoy networking and communicating with other studio owners and directors. We all share the same passion and love for this art form.

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