YORKTOWN — Lindsay Horton grew up in dance studios in York County. She spent hours training in all different styles of dance at Wilkins School of Dance, was a cheerleader, and took to the football field as a member of Grafton High School’s color guard.
That passion for dance continued in college at Christopher Newport and Old Dominion universities. After working briefly as a paraeducator, teaching at two different dance studios in the evenings for 15 years, and while serving as the Associate Director of Dance at Woodside High School, Horton knew it was time to make her dream of owning her own studio come true.
“Growing up, I knew how important a role dance played in my life, but it was not until I started teaching for the studio that I grew up at when I realized how fulfilling working with children truly was and the gift of sharing dance with others was truly rewarding. As I continued to teach both at the studio and Woodside High School, the stars were aligning and I felt led to start my own journey as a small business owner, but also allow my vision that I’ve always dreamed of come to life… after all, your dreams are what you make of them and DreamMakers Dance Studio was born,” Horton said.
In October 2023, DreamMakers Dance Studio officially opened its doors with Horton at the helm.
“I knew that sharing my passion for dance with the next generation was something I wanted to do more than pursuing a professional dancing career… Growing up and even when I first started teaching, dance class was always a safe space for me to express myself and it really helped me come out of my shell. I also appreciated the discipline, structure, and teamwork qualities that I had to embody,” Horton said.
DreamMakers has a variety of classes for different age levels, including an adult curriculum. The studio also offers three different “tracks” for dancers: Club Dance, Company, and Collective. Club Dance is for the recreational and beginning dancer, Company dance is for the more advanced dancer, while Collective dance is for the all-around dancer, with opportunities to compete in dance competitions.
“Ultimately, we are aiming to help young dancers to explore movement through music, enhance their physical abilities, teach terminology, and nurture their creativity regardless of what track our dancers are on, but it’s important to note that we have a place for everyone,” Horton said.
The studio’s motto serves as a daily reminder to Horton and all who come to class to “choose joy.”
“When opening DreamMakers, I came up with a motto underneath my studio logo that I wanted all of my dancers to live by: Dream… Inspire… Choose Joy! As a growing dancer and artist, I feel like they should always keep pushing to follow their dreams, inspire others and themselves in whatever they do, and find joy in what they set their minds to,” Horton said.
Horton took that motto a step further by creating “The DreamMakers Way”.
“The DreamMakers Way: Inspire self-confidence while instilling discipline and respect, Innovate your craft as an artist, Ignite your love for dance … All while building a technical foundation, showing commitment, and embodying teamwork. All of these qualities are important to take into the real world regardless of what career path my dancers decide to take,” Horton said.
“We are a dance studio that teaches, trains, and exposes dancers to a variety of styles making them more well-rounded individuals, but even more importantly, we also understand the importance of creating a safe space where they feel loved, nurtured, and valued. Dance does take a lot of hard work and motivation, but it should also be something these dancers enjoy.”
While DreamMakers is still a new business, Horton is already seeing her years of hard work pay off.
“We’ve only been open for a little over a week and the look I’m seeing on the dancers’ and families’ faces have been filled with pure joy and excitement, and the studio family that I’ve already grown is more than I could’ve imagined as a new small business. I cannot wait to see what the future holds and to all of the future Dreamers out there, hard work does pay off and you just have to remain resilient, be patient, and trust that you’re making your dreams come true one day,” Horton said.
As the studio continues to grow, Horton is hopeful to add drop-in classes, a holiday show, master classes, and more.
Registration for combo classes will remain open until December 2023. From January to June, a la carte class registration will continue. The studio is located at Pilgrim Village, 3630 George Washington Memorial Highway (Suites F2/F3), Yorktown. For more information, visit dreammakersdancestudio.org.