It’s Christmastime in Williamson, and the center court at the Southside Mall in South Williamson, KY, is packed. A simple, but festive stage is set up and the seats surrounding are completely filled. Most of the crowd is forced to stand on their toes to see the dancers. It’s December 22nd, 2018 -- the annual Tutus Under the Tree attracts folks from all over Williamson. They’re here to watch a mesmerizing Christmas dance recital performed by students from a local dance studio.
Lifelong Student Becomes the Teacher
Debbie’s Dance Studio opened in downtown Williamson in September 2015. Debbie Carlin, the instructor and owner of the business, describes owning her own dance studio as a dream she’s had since she was a little girl. She began dancing at the age of four, and when her former instructor asked her to begin teaching classes under her instruction, she was thrilled. Her instructor retired two years later, so Carlin took the leap of faith and opened the studio. Since Debbie’s Dance Studio opened, they have hosted yearly recitals: one big one in June, and one Christmas recital every December.
68 Dancers Dancing
The Southside Mall hosts the free event every year. Tutus Under the Tree includes 17 performances by dancers of all kinds, including jazz and ballet. Kids of all ages performed Christmas-themed dances for the crowd, which responded enthusiastically to every twirl and leap. Performances included a troupe of young jazz dancers dancing to “Snowman” (a parody of the Blues Brothers’ “Soul Man”), beginning creative dancers dancing to “Ellie the Elf”, and the advanced ballet group performing to “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
More To Come
Carlin is already making plans for 2019’s Christmas recital, but the dance studio is also planning projects for earlier in the year. In Summer 2019, they will host their yearly recital in Belfry, KY. Advanced ballet students at the studio are also hoping to attend the West Virginia Dance Festival in April, where they would be instructed by well-known dance instructors visiting the state.