Writer Joseph J. Airdo
Photography Courtesy of Dynamic Motion Dance Academy
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ore than two decades ago, Tiffany Fox had aspirations of becoming a professional dancer. Today, she is a successful business owner who has shined a positive light on the lives of countless children, helping them to become happy, healthy adults thereby making Anthem — and the world — a better place.
And it all happened because of her belief that everything happens for a reason as she accepted a serendipitous opportunity 20 years ago.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in 1998, Fox got a job at All That Jazz Dance Center off Seventh Street and Carefree Highway. After working there for a year, the owner announced to Fox that she would be moving and asked if she would be interested in purchasing the studio.
Fox agreed, taking over operations of the 800-square-foot facility under the new name Dynamic Motion Dance Academy. She remained at the location for roughly 18 months before moving to a 3,000-square-foot facility in Anthem.
Three years ago, Dynamic Motion Dance Academy moved again, this time to an 8,000 square-foot facility that Fox says she feels exceptionally blessed to be in. However, she admits that it took a long time and a lot of hard work — complete with blood, sweat and tears — to get to the point at which she and the studio are at now.
“It is about perseverance, drive and not giving up when things go bad,” she says. “I hope that is something that I model for my students. The teachers who work for me now have seen all of the bumps in the road — including me trying to get a new building built, which took a year and a half and five different companies to complete. And they have seen how I have never given up.”
As owner and director of Dynamic Motion Dance Academy, Fox has made it a point to always remain positive — at least in front of her students and teachers.
“Everybody has their breakdowns,” Fox admits. “But I have tried to show everybody that you just cannot give up. No matter what it is, you just cannot quit. It can be as simple as a kid trying to learn a turn in class. It might take you a year to get it, but that is OK. You just have to keep trying and never give up.”
Acclimating and Advancing
Fox looks back at the last 20 years in absolute amazement — not only at what she and her studio have accomplished but also at the immense growth of the community.
“When I was at my first building in Anthem, there was nothing else there,” Fox explains. “There were no houses, no outlet mall or anything. It has grown tremendously — which is amazing because it has given me an opportunity to meet even more families and affect even more children with my love of dance.”
Fox adds that the physical landscape is not the only thing that has changed over the last two decades. The learning landscape has changed as well.
“A long time ago, kids would take their time learning things,” she explains. “Now kids want things a lot faster. I have also had to acclimate to advancing technology — especially this year with Zoom.”
Fox acknowledges that acclimation is part of the business and of life, though. In order to be successful, one needs to learn how to roll with the punches as well as take advantage of opportunities when they come along — even if they are not “part of the plan.”
“[Owning a dance studio] was something that I had thought about starting but that was really not my main goal,” Fox says. “I wanted to dance professionally and was auditioning for different companies in California. But I believe that everything happens for a reason and when this opportunity came up, I needed to take it. You do not let opportunities pass.”
One must also be appreciative for what they have and find the positive in a situation at all times — including last year. Fox firmly believes that it is during our most trying times that we become driven to do better.
“That is why I have gone back to school at 46 years old to get my Masters in Fine Arts from Arizona State University,” says Fox, noting that she has aspirations of becoming a professor. “I feel like I can never know enough for the kids. The more I learn, the better I can help them thrive.”
After all, that is why Fox does what she does — to make a difference in the lives of her students and to be a positive light for them. She adds that her role at Dynamic Motion Dance Academy is about so much more than just teaching children the art of dance.
“A few months ago, a student came back to thank me,” says Fox, with obvious emotion in her voice as she began to tear up. “She is 26 now and has three kids. She did not thank me for teaching her a pirouette or any other technique. She thanked me for providing her with a place for memories and support.
“These girls come to me for so many other things than just dance. When they have issues at school or issues with their boyfriends when they are teenagers, they come into the studio crying and I support them. That is what they remember. And that makes me so happy to do what I do.”
In addition to welcoming multiple generations of students into Dynamic Motion Dance Academy, two decades in the community have also afforded Fox an opportunity to watch the children whose lives she has affected grow up before her very eyes.
“Watching them grow up year after year is my favorite part of the job,” says Fox, noting that it is not unusual for a child to remain her student from 3 years old through high school graduation. “I get to watch these kids grow up and it is just so wonderful. And I still get to see them after they leave when they are adults who start having their own kids that they then bring to me as students.”
In some cases, Fox’s students have even gone on to become teachers at Dynamic Motion Dance Academy. Lyndsie Clymer was 3 years old when her parents entered her into a ballet and tap combo class at the studio.
“I was super shy,” Clymer says. “My parents had hoped that putting me in a dance class would help get me out of my shell. Little did they know that 20 years later I would be making a career out of it.”
Clymer, who now works at Dynamic Motion Dance Academy as an instructor, recalls feeling extremely welcomed and loved during her very first day of class at the studio. She is grateful to Fox and all of the other brilliant, loving and passionate teachers who gave her plenty of opportunities to perform and compete in the community.
“The information that I learned as a performer and competitor helps me guide my students who want to compete and perform just like I did,” Clymer explains. “I teach six days a week, countless hours each day and I could not be happier. I am so grateful to now work for a company that I started dancing with at 3 years old. I love my job an insane amount and I could not ask for a more loving and inspirational boss/mentor.”
Fox could not be more proud of Clymer, who she says is an amazing choreographer and teacher and a bright light at the studio. She adds that her instructors are what make Dynamic Motion Dance Academy such a special place.
“They are all so driven,” Fox says. “They love kids, they love teaching dance and they are all amazing, trained and certified women. I feel so blessed that my staff is top-notch and that we have such a wonderful, family environment that promotes individuality and uniqueness.”
Tami Jewell, whose daughters spent 12 years dancing at Fox’s studio, agrees that Dynamic Motion Dance Academy is a special place.
“When you look at the Anthem business community, Dynamic Motion Dance Academy stands out as one of the originals that has stood the test of time,” she says. “It takes a strong sense of community commitment combined with great values and goals to do so.”
She is especially grateful for Dynamic Motion Dance Academy’s extremely supportive environment that promote’s children’s creativity and physical activity.
Fox says that supportive environment is a key characteristic of her approach, which diverts development-inhibiting stereotypes.
“I want kids to appreciate what they have and work with that rather than try to change to what their idea of a dancer should be or look like,” she explains. “I want them to have a good time and enjoy moving.”
Fox believes that children need the expressive arts — such as dance — now more than ever due to the many unprecedented challenges that our world has faced over the past year.
“Kids need art; they need movement for stress relief and therapy,” she explains. “The arts are so good for the brain and I feel like kids are not getting enough of that right now. And I think that is affecting them negatively.
“So for us to be able to provide a safe, happy, healthy environment for exploration and growth as dancers — not only technically and physically but also mentally as human beings — is very important. We need to spread love and positivity in the community There needs to be some kind of connection; something to look forward to. Otherwise what are we all here for?”
Dynamic Motion Dance Academy
4111 W. Innovative Drive, Building 1, Anthem