With Pat Gray being the name behind decades of dance lessons and perfect landings, her daughter Sharon Howard says that running the studio now days is really no different than years before. “Well, I never dreamed that I would be over the whole studio, because Mom is a hard person to follow. She is the most talented and creative person I’ve ever met in my life,” said Howard.
In all her years of dance and gymnastics lessons, Pat says it’s been about creating one thing for the students. “They just light up and it makes them feel good, and the most important thing is that it gives them a sense of wonder. They just love coming to class because they know they can do something really good, and Ms. Pat, Ms. Sharon, and Ms. Holly will love what they do,” said Gray.
While Howard took over around eleven years ago, she says her mom is still very much involved in the operations. Howard’s daughter, Holly, focuses on choreography, while she focuses on technique, and her mom remains the heartbeat behind the academy. “I still today teach some of the skills I learned from my mom because they are the backbone of dance, the technique,” said Howard.
With Pat slowly handing the legacy over to her daughter, she says one thing will always remain.“Every child that has come through my studio, they know that I loved them whenever they were here, and I still love them. I still get phone calls, and I get Christmas cards. They live in places like Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York—they live all places,” said Gray. Coming up on May 18th at the MSU Riley Center, dancers from her academy will be performing to original choreography put together by her daughter, Sharon, and granddaughter.