Step turns into the right move
By RANDY GONZALES
It started in 2009 with one student, in her garage.
Fast forward four years later, and Alyssa Dechant's dance studio has approximately 250 students and a host of awards.
Dechant, who owns Styles Dance Centre, 2101 E. 13th, had her 65 to 70 competitive students perform at nationals this summer. They came away with 24 dances placing in the top 10, with three dances in the Parade of Champions.
They also won the overall studio spirit award and the overall studio sportsmanship award.
Dechant's studio, which has both fall enrollment and summer enrollment, is open to both competitive dancers and recreational students. Competitive dancers could spend upwards of 12 hours per week in class, while recreational dancers would be in class less than two hours per week.
"It's really what works best for the family," Dechant said.
Working as a dance instructor was Dechant's dream.
"It's just always been my passion, pretty sure since the age of 3," Dechant said. "I always told my mother I was going to own a dance studio."
Dechant, 26, danced as a youngster herself and was on the dance team at Hays High School, where she graduated in 2005. She became a dance instructor who owned her own studio four years ago.
"(In 2009) my husband built a dance studio in our garage. I had a recital that following May with nine kids, and that summer I was up to 32, so I outgrew the garage," she said. "So I bought the building across from Hays High."
Dechant has a former student, Johnae Blackmon, as her other instructor at the studio.
"I love teaching, even more than I love dance," Dechant said.
Dechant feels blessed to have the success she's had with her studio, and to have it at such a young age.
"Never in a million years did I think this would happen," she said. "I just knew I loved dance, and I loved teaching, and that's what I wanted to do.
"I don't care if it's one kid, I don't care if it's 250 kids, I love it. I just love what I do."