“It all started with my mom.”
Nearly 50 years ago Nicole Falgoust Tanner’s mother Laurie St. Pierre Falgoust started dancing classes at Duanne Cormier’s Le Petite Danse.
“The first dance studio was located in Norco, next door to my mom’s house,” Tanner said. “Mrs. Duanne was her very first, last and only dance teacher. She was also like an older sister to my mom and later my mom became her right hand at the studio. The dance tradition in our family continued when I was born. I was destined to become a dancer.”
Tanner said that as far back as she can remember, dancing and performing was her passion and the studio her second home.
“Mrs. Duanne was not only my dance teacher, but treated me like a daughter and was a positive influence in my life,” Tanner said. “The studio was literally my second home … I was literally at the studio for at least 4 hours for every day. It’s been in my blood. Like my mom, I too went on to teach dance classes for Mrs. Duanne and manage the Paradis studio.”
With her family there since the very beginning of Dance Unlimited, Tanner said she is ecstatic to have the opportunity to fulfill her dream of owning and directing her own dance studio – she is now the owner and director of Dance Unlimited of Paradis.
“I am excited to carry on the legacy Mrs. Duanne and Mr. Al created, and grateful for the opportunity to lead and mentor the next generation of dancers at Dance Unlimited of Paradis,” Tanner said. “As soon as I finished hygiene school in 2008 and moved back home from Monroe I started teaching dance there and earlier this year she had a meeting with me and told me she wanted to sell the Paradis location to me.”
Tanner has spent the last several months learning the business-side of the studio.
“I’m very excited,” Tanner said. “Of course I always said I’d love to have my own dancing studio, but I would have never ever thought about opening a studio ad being in competition with her. It was always a dream. I never ever thought that Mrs. Duanne was ever going to retire … this is what she’s been doing since she was 18.”
And while a studio facelift, logo change and other tweaks are being done, Tanner said she is determined to carry on what has been set at the studio.
“She’s created a legacy,” Tanner said of Cormier. “She’s done things right all these years. I’m not changing much … just giving it a facelift. I just want to carry on her legacy to this new generations of young girls.”
Tanner went from working full-time to part-time as a dental hygienist when she had her daughter Camille in August – a schedule that she’ll continue going forward.
She was clear, however, about where her devotion lies.
“This is going to be my full-time thing,” Tanner said of the studio, adding she is thrilled to be able to continue to work alongside her mom. “My mom was very excited for me. She’s still actively teaching at the studio … she’s excited that I’m fulfilling my dream. We’ve always talked about it but never thought it would actually happen.”
And while having her mom at the studio is wonderful, Tanner said she is most excited to get Camille enrolled into dance classes.
“I wish it was like tomorrow … I can’t wait for that dance class,” she said laughing. “I can’t wait. I’m just praying that Camille wants to be a dancer.”
For information about the dance studio, visit www.DUofParadis.com.