Emily Fansler, formerly Emily Hughes, founded Dance Hues in 2009, with a mission to provide dance to underprivileged families and students. She opened the studio after working with an After School Program at Central Junior High, now known as Liberty Memorial Central Middle School.
"In January 2008, I started teaching dance at the Central Junior High after school program, where I met nine girls who inspired me to open a studio of my own. Being with these girls forced me to remember the struggles I endured in my teens and all the ways that dance provided for me during those difficult times."
It was Emily's personal belief that dance should be available to everyone, and she vowed to never turn anyone away because of financial difficulty, disability, age, gender, sexual preference, beliefs, affiliations, or heritage. The dance world is traditionally a very privileged and exclusive community, but her goals for Dance Hues were to work toward inclusiveness and demonstrate the creative energy that comes from diversity.
In 2009, Emily rented a small room in the back of an east Lawrence warehouse, and began renovating it into our studio, DancE Hues. The dancers and Emily built the floors (with a lot of help from Emily's dad), painted the walls, made signs, hung pictures and lights, and made it our safe space. Seven of her original dancers devoted ten or more hours per week to dancing, and many of their friends and fans followed them into the studio. After three years, we had grown to a family of 100 and our facility had expanded to the entire suite.
Brianne Myers was one of Emily's nine original dancers. The summer after Bri graduated from high school, the studio was in a situation that would cost them their beloved self-built safe space. While looking for a new space to relocate Dance Hues, management at Lawrence Gymnastics & Athletics offered Emily a position as the dance director for their dance program. Emily accepted the position on terms that her scholarship and family rates could stay in affect and the program name could be changed to 'Dance Hues at LGA'.
As Emily made the move and transition to the new facility and organization, about half of her dancers, including Bri, loyally followed. Bri began teaching about ten hours a week and became Emily's competition team assistant and partner. A little over a year later, in October of 2013, Emily announced her resignation and relocation to Arizona. She promoted Bri and allowed the program to run as Dance Hues, so long as Bri was in charge. In December of 2013, Bri decided it was best if Dance Hues found its independence again. She applied for a tax ID for a Sole Proprietorship as well as a line of credit loan and started searching for small facilities that would allow her to hold classes. She acquired a space of 1,750 square feet and received the keys on January 3rd. 2014. In ten days, Bri and her sister Amber, with much help from their carpenter Dad and many other friends and family members, and even some dancers, they built a wall, constructed the floors, painted, hung pictures, and mirrors. Dance Hues was located in this space for two years.
"She has the beautiful lines that every choreographer dreams of and a fearlessness about her that makes her an incredible partner. She also has a fire in her that I didn’t always know how to handle. To this day, Bri stands up to me when she disagrees with something and is totally unafraid to put herself out there. I admire this so much in her, even though it was frustrating for me when as my student, she held me accountable for my mistakes and memory lapses! It didn’t take me very long—maybe a year—to know that if I ever moved away, I would leave the studio to Bri, because she was trustworthy, dedicated, creative, and driven. Even more than that though, she was a prime example of someone impacted by dance in a positive way. She was so ready to soak up every drop of instruction and let it flow out into her everyday life. She was graceful, compassionate, and strong in every moment." -Emily
As Dance Hues began to grow and improve, Bri started giving her sister Amber more classes to teach and more administrative responsibilities. Amber was one of the first students to dance at Dance Hues in 2009. Amber was just 17 at the time of Bri's reopening of Dance Hues Studio. She was not legally old enough to sign many documents, but she loyally helped Bri, every step of the way. She took responsibility of tasks that many teens would never dream about. She stepped up to the plate to ensure that her and her sister's dreams and mission for the youth and their community would become and maintain successful. Amber and Bri both worked multiple part time jobs, while also attending the University and working to receive bachelor's degrees. Amber and Bri are completely dedicated to the studio and the growth of each and every dancer as a person, artist, and performer.
Amber and Bri decided in late 2015, that it would be best to find a bigger location and transition into a non profit organization. Dance Hues Studio relocated, rebuilt and redesigned once more to our current location of 2,225 square feet. The extra space allowed for them to add a second rehearsal studio in which the studio could use to hold two classes at a time, reaching more dancers and parents needs and wants.
The plan for Dance Hues, in the beginning was to be a non profit, 501c3 organization but because of limited resources and funds, it was not possible until August of 2016. When Dance Hues transitioned into a non profit organization, it officially became Dance Hues Studio operating under the non profit organization, The D.A.I.S.Y. Studios Inc.
The D.A.I.S.Y. Studios Inc. is a non profit organization built on the idea that everyone should have equal access to arts education. The company slogan is Driven And Inspired Support for Youth. The ultimate goal for The D.A.I.S.Y. Studios Inc. is to provide arts programs and lessons in many and varying genres and forms of the performance and visual arts.
With that being said, The D.A.I.S.Y. Studios Inc and Dance Hues Studio will endure much more growth and expansion as our company mission is further accomplished.