Leap of Faith Dance began back in 2001, when Craig Coria, a local pastor, wanted someone to teach his two daughters dance. He and his wife didn’t feel comfortable with the direction most dance studios were headed. His girls wanted to dance for the Lord. They wanted to have excellent dance technique without having to compromise their values. So Sharon Andrews, who had earned her BFA in dance from SMU many years earlier, started “Liberty & Grace Dance”. The ﬁrst classes were held at the church ofﬁces with their 2 girls and 29 others. There were no barres or mirrors and the ﬂoor was carpeting.
Two years later, in 2003, all the classes were moved to CATS on Randol Mill. We could only rent the facility during the day so all of our students were homeschooled. We started to grow rapidly and Miss Sharon didn’t feel like she could continue teaching all the classes by herself. So she hired 2 extra teachers and 2 assistants.
The following year, 2004, a website was created and we got 3 new assistants, one being Miss Addie Frederickson. This is the year we started giving our Spring Dance Concerts a theme. The message this year was “Dream”, encouraging our dancers and audience to dream big and go for the dreams God gives.
The next year, 2005, Miss Addie became one of our regular teachers. The theme was “Anything Is Possible”. Then in 2006, our Spring Dance Concert was “Don’t Waste Your Life”, based on the life-changing book by John Piper. For 2007, the recital theme was “Virtuoso”, with the message that God is the virtuoso who orchestrates our lives.
2008 was the BIG year that we took the Leap of Faith and moved to our own facility. Leap of Faith Dance and Performing Arts was born. Miss Sharon and her husband truly took a leap of faith and put all of their savings into starting a ministry to “redeem the arts for God’s glory”. At the time, they agreed that if even one life was changed, even one person was inspired to use their talents for Christ, it would be worth risking everything. Our students and families all pitched in to equip the studio. They volunteered to help put in the ﬂoors, and donated much of the supplies needed to get the studio off the ground. Sharon’s brother, Dany Smith, designed the layout of the studios and did most of the work. That spring, however, Sharon’s husband, Duane, became critically ill with severe acute pancreatitis that led to ARDS, and ended up in a coma in the ICU on life support. Even though doctors gave him 0% chance of survival, our students, along with many others prayed fervently for God to heal him. God did heal him and performed a miracle that the whole studio played a part in and witnessed. The theme that year was “Attitude of Gratitude”, and our ending piece was “Praise You In This Storm”.
In 2009, we started Parables Dance Company. Our recital theme was “Gotta Move”, where our company members performed a really cool tap dance on stairs. We also had all the dads of our company members perform a hip hop dance to “No Ordinary Love”, complete with dreadlocks and street dancer costumes. It was the hit of the show!
In 2010 we did “Listen Up”, followed by “Jubilee” in 2011. That year we had a special dance, where some of our original dancers from ten years earlier performed “Isn’t He”, which they had done as preschoolers.
In 2012, the theme was “Transformer”. This is the year Miss Heidi Schoonover and Miss Sharon (mainly Miss Heidi) produced the “Orphans’ Hope” production.
The year 2013 brought big changes too. Miss Addie began “Dance By Design”, teaching in her home. Our Spring Dance Concert theme was “With One Voice”. We performed our “Who Hears” production based on “Horton Hears a Who” about how our prayers matter, even every little “who”.
Our 2014 recital was “One True King”, then in 2015 it was “New Life”, with our opening number “Hard Knock Life”, complete with orphans, rags & mops.
Then in 2016, our recital was “The Journey”, with our musical theater dance class starting the program with “Ease On Down the Road” and ending with “Alone”, a fun hip hop dance.
In 2017, after 17 years, Miss Sharon retired as director of Leap of Faith Dance with the theme being “Alpha & Omega”. She’s seen many students grow up and move on. Her biggest blessing has been seeing God get ahold of dancers’ hearts at a pliable age and mold them into amazing young women and men. Many students have continued in dance after graduation and many are serving in various ministries. Some have married and had children. A common thread is they have stayed the course serving and loving the Lord.
A new season for Leap of Faith was ushered in with Miss Addie as director. She began dancing with Leap of Faith in 2003, became an assistant the following year, and then a teacher in 2005. Miss Sharon had the privilege of training her as a teacher. In May of 2017, Miss Sharon excitedly passed the director baton to Martin & Addie Frederickson.