WSAZ Hometown Hero | Studio owner offers space to fellow business

Hometown Hero | Studio owner offers space to fellow business
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 6:11 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - It’s the time of year when dancers of all ages take to the stage to show off what they’ve learned in extracurricular classes like ballet, tap, and jazz. It’s a lot of time and hard work, but one dance studio would have been unable to make it this year without a generous hand that offered some help -- and it came from a competing dance studio.

This year at the Nancy’s School of Dance recital there were some new faces in attendance. Those faces came from another dance studio, Huntington Dance Theatre.

“When our studio had a calamity - water damage that ruined our entire studio - she came to our rescue. She provided a place for us to stay,” said Huntington Dance Theatre board member, Sara Simpson.

Simpson was speaking about the owner of Nancy’s School of Dance, Nancy Carter.

Nancy is not only a performer, but she’s been in the dance business in the tri-state area for quite a while.

“She’s the grand dame of dance. She’s been in business for 58 years,” said dancer and instructor, Pam Carden.

When water ruined Huntington Dance Theatre’s studio, Nancy was the first one to step up.

“We didn’t advertise that it had happened. As soon as she heard about it, she must have reacted and reacted in a way that nobody else had,” said Erin Stephens the Director of Huntington Dance Theatre.

Carden has been teaching and dancing with Nancy for years, and she was not surprised at all when Nancy offered up her space to another studio.

“It’s like her instinct was to help those dancers. Their teachers came in. Their students came in. She had a waiting room set up for the parents so they could sit while their children had classes. I don’t know too many people who would open their studio or open their space for something like that,” Carden said.

Several leaders at Huntington Dance Theatre reached out to WSAZ to nominate Nancy, because she saw another studio’s need and went above and beyond to help keep their dancers in step.

“I think she sees that dancing is more than what you see on the stage. It reaches out into the community,” Carden said.

“It shows she cares about the arts in the tri-state,” Simpson said.

The connection has brought the two dance studios closer. Every year, Huntington Dance Theatre performs “The Nutcracker,” and this year some of the dancers from Nancy’s School of Dance will be a part of the performance as soldiers. It’s a part that requires a lot of tap skills, which is Nancy’s specialty.

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