Introducing... Hawkins School of Performing Arts
Feb 26, 2010 10:14AM
● By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana
Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you.
The Hawkins School offers classes in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, musical theatre dance, acting and voice. You could say that I found it. I knew I had a calling to teach dance from an early age, but in 1986, just when I thought my dream of owning a dance studio was fading away, a little white house (the historic Emma’s Place) became available in Old Folsom...and I took my big chance. The fact that after 23 years, we are still thriving makes me think that it found me too.
How are you involved with both the community and your customer?
Our studio houses a non-profit, pre-professional youth dance company – Stages, Northern California Performing Arts. Under the “umbrella” of Stages there are three dance companies – The Folsom Lake Civic Ballet, iMPACT Contemporary Dance, and Sound Out Tap Company. Stages serves the community through full-length concerts, benefit performances and outreach programs. Many Hawkins’ students aspire to join Stages.
Why is your staff the best in the business?
I take great care to add the best teachers to my faculty. Each is a specialist in his or her particular discipline. My administrative staff is equally devoted to excellence.
What life accomplishments are you most proud of?
That’s easy – my son Luke, who has given me 25 years of joy!
Who is your role model in business or in life, and why?
In both business and life, I have a very close group of friends who are an inspiration to me. My business is so very much my life and my passion, and these special friends are at the heart of both.
What’s your greatest job perk?
Seeing little dancers start in pre-ballet and blossom into beautiful dancers in their teens. And, reading sweet notes from students who write of how much dance means to them.
What’s your favorite place to eat locally?
I like the small, family-owned Lake Forest Café, and Strings Italian Café.
What’s your favorite local event to go to?
The Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra performances. Maestro Neumann’s symphonies always uplift me.
And finally, what is customer service?
Our customer service is providing excellent training for our students and bringing joy to their lives through dance, music and theatre. Then, I know our students have been well served.