Some people say to follow your dreams, and that is precisely what Laura Phillips did. The owner, director and teacher of Ultimate Dance Legacy (UDL) is also the head coach of the Marshall University Dance Team.
“I have always dreamed of having my own studio since I was a little girl,” Phillips said. “Dance has (been) and always (will) be a huge part of my life. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I decided to open the studio at a younger age than planned.”
Phillips received a bachelor’s degree in dance, with a concentration in ballet, from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She also holds a master’s in health care administration from Marshall.
Autumn Booton, a recent Marshall graduate who was also a member of the Marshall Dance Team, has been with UDL for three years.
“My class is the first dance class a lot of little girls at UDL have ever taken, so it takes a lot of patience to be their teacher,” Booton said. “In the beginning, they need reminders to stay in their spot or wait their turn, but by the spring, it is so rewarding because not only can I see the beginning dance skills that they have gained but I can also see such improvements in their listening skills and confidence in class.”
UDL offers a variety of dance classes, including ballet, pointe, jazz, musical theatre, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary and tap, to students of all ages. The studio also offers competition dance and concert dance.
“We offer a competitive dance company, for those who wish to compete, and now we offer a pre-professional ballet program,” Phillips said. “We are the only studio to offer both as well as recreational dance.”
Phillips first opened her studio five years ago, when she was unhappy with the job she had at the time, she said. She said her current husband helped her to realize she should open her own studio.
Three years ago, UDL moved to its current location at 5736 East Pea Ridge Road Suite 203. Phillips said she decided to open a studio closer to Barboursville, West Virginia because of the lack of studios towards Milton, West Virginia and Ona, West Virginia.
Anna Marsh can be contacted at [email protected]