Paige Grimes wants to give every kid the chance to dance.
Photos: Nicole Hamel
Nineteen-year-old Paige Grimes is ready for her next “step” after hosting the grand opening for her new dance studio, Full Force Dance Academy in Minneola, on March 28.
Paige practiced hip hop, tap, and lyrical when she first started dancing at age 11, but she was dancing all genres by the next year. She began assisting dance teachers when she was 13, and was soon running her own classes, but her passion lies in choreography. In her junior and senior years of high school at Lake Minneola, Paige choreographed a routine with two of her friends for a talent show. The first year they won first place and people’s choice, and the second year they won people’s choice.
“As soon as I started helping, I realized I love teaching and choreographing. I love going to competitions and watching the kids get on stage and show off all their hard work and seeing them come off the stage so excited. So, I knew that was something I always wanted to have a part of my life,” Paige says.
When she is choreographing, lyrical is Paige’s favorite style. “There’s always a story behind the routine so I love that, it’s like therapy for me.” One of her most memorable performances was a lyrical dance she choreographed for her trio to the song “To This Day.” The song is about bullying, and it meant a lot to Paige to bring the issue to light and tell people they’re not alone.
“Honestly for me, dance has been a lifesaver. There’s been some hard times in my life where I felt I had nowhere to turn, but I could always go to the studio and just focus on dancing, so it has always been my safe place,” she says.
One of Paige’s main missions in opening her own studio was to make dance classes available to all students, regardless of their family’s financial situation. “Growing up, we sometimes struggled with being able to pay for dance, so I want to offer some free classes so kids that maybe don’t have the extra income are able to dance in a studio setting and learn, no matter the financial situation,” Paige says. Paige also plans to host fundraisers to fund those classes, as well as to purchase shoes, clothes, and costumes for students.