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A Brief But Spectacular take on the art of dance
Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.
Geoff Bennett: Wynette Smith is the longtime owner of Starlet Dance Studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Despite facing a range of challenges, she says she keeps the studio alive for the generations of dancers who keep coming back.
Tonight, Wynette Smith shares her Brief But Spectacular take on the art of dance.
Wynette Smith, Owner, Starlet Dance Studio: These are students that I have had over the years. These are my children. I never had any. So these are my children. I got lots of kids.
Wynette Smith: Five, six, seven, eight.
Wow, wow. Old age is quite a trip, I will tell you. It's just my body's saying, time to rest. Right now, I teach tap. I teach the advanced ballet. Now, ballet is my favorite. I start with the 3-year-olds. And my oldest student at this point in time is 82.
And a lot of them, when they were growing up, they dreamed of doing dancing. And now that they're older and retired, they want to try it. And for my teachers that teach for me, they started with me when they were little kids and now they're teaching. And they wouldn't have that if I didn't keep this place going. It's just part of my life.
It's just like this is part of my body. To me, dance is an art. When you're dancing, when you're doing jazz, you're just like, yeah! It's from your heart. And when it's in ballet, it's like, I love you, audience. I love you.
These shoes are all shoes from students of mine who have moved out of Albuquerque. Katie danced here.
Wynette Smith: I was a very shy, very timid person. And so mom decided to put me in dancing, because she took tap dancing when she was young. So that's how I got started at the age of 6.
The dancing really helped. It really brought me out. So, by the time I was in high school, I was on the dance team. It was fun dancing in front of an audience. I wasn't afraid at all. And from there, I just started teaching here at Starlet. That's when I was in college.
I have been the owner for about 40 years. In this North Valley, this has been the only dance studio forever. I just got all my joy out of the dance studio.
I want everybody to have a chance to experience dance. It's not just saying, gee, look how high I can get my leg. It's your heart and your soul. This studio, I'm working on third and fourth generation of students. So it's like a family. Everybody knows everybody. We're all helping each other. It's just very intertwined.
My hopes is that Starlet Dance Studio will remain here and that my students who have grown up and are now teaching for me will have a venue and a place to go. And I hope they continue the heart, the heart part of it.
My name is Wynette Smith, and this is my Brief But Spectacular take on the art form of dance. It's from the heart.
Geoff Bennett: Such an inspiration.
You can watch more Brief But Spectacular videos online at PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief.