In 1949, Katy Lyon traded in her dreams of becoming a professional dancer to become an instructor and educator of dance for those children of Uniontown that wanted to express themselves through the art of dance. Katy began teaching dance to 40 students in a room at the Roosevelt Hotel, where her students used the back of chairs as barres. She moved her studio above the Perculator (today's Rizz's Cafe), before finally settling into our present location at 164 South Besson Avenue. Katy's affect was that of a positive motivator, and her students quickly recognized her genuine loving personality. Because she made her students feel so special, Katy was able to get the most out of each of her students. Her greatest compliment most likely came when her daughter, Mia Palumbo Faris, took over in like fashion.
Through The Years
In 1984, Mia Faris began to run the Katy Lyon Dance Center with the same love, the same passion, and the same positive attitude as her mother. She took the foundations her mother laid, and Mia quickly turned a dance school into a dance studio. Mia's love of dance and the instruction of the the art of dance was evident in the growth and expansion over the following 20 years. Students began to flock to the traditions, to the values, and to the positive environment created by Katy's daughter Mia, and her family. In 2005, Tara (Spaw) Fronczek, a lifelong Katy Lyon dancer, purchased the studio from Mia, where the KLDC experienced even more growth. Tara danced for Mia, and Tara danced for Katy. Her lineage and commitment to the studio's livelihood and growth allowed her to teach from the heart. Tara paved a seamless path for the studio's current owner, Christina Lanzi-John.
Christina Lanzi-John became the fourth owner of the Katy Lion Dance Center in 2010. Much like Katy, Christina passed on opportunities in the professional world of dance to pass on the traditions, values, and lessons learned from the art of dance. Wishing to carve her own niche in the society of dance, Christina changed the name to the Lanzi Academy of Dance. Like her predecessors, Christina is a lifelong dancer of the studio. She studied under Mia and Tara, and was fortunate enough to have learned from Katy herself. Current Studio Manager Donna Marovic, also one of Christina's mentors and teachers, has been a part of the KLDC/LAD family since she began her career. Tradition is important to the L.A. Dance family, and Christina is grateful for everyone that makes L.A. Dance such an inspirational place to work and learn.