Memphis dance school opens second location to inspire kids to dream big

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Inspiring the next generation of dancers in Memphis, a studio is opening its second location to reach and give more youth a positive outlet.

The LYE Academy will open this coming weekend with a new location in the Oak Court Mall.

It’s the dance moves that’s gotten these kids so much attention and the need for a second location to put a new studio.

Ladia Yates is the founder of the LYE Academy.

She started the school in 2018 and since then Yates said it’s been nonstop growth.

A crop of her students come from the area of her first location in Southeast Memphis on Riverdale.

“We are running out of room. We are stocked up over there. We have a lot of kids. So, we had to open a second studio,” Yates said.

Yates said even through the pandemic more kids have been wanting an outlet to get away from the stress of a difficult school year.

“As far as me wanting to open up another studio. I was going to do that years from now. With the pandemic hitting kids get lazy. They gain weight and there is nothing to do. The schools just now barely opening and no extracurricular activities barely,” Yates said.

The kids from LYE have won awards on national and local stages. They took home a $1,000 prize from the Memphis Youth Got Talent competition.

In the past, Yates worked with the likes of Usher, Brandy, Missy Elliot, and more.

With this second location, she’s hoping to reach more kids. Not only keep them out of trouble, but also give them an outlook on how far hard work can get them.

“I’m out there dancing with them showing them an example of how great they can be, how good they can be,” Yates said.

Yates said with the opening of her second studio she hopes to inspire other women of color who want to start or grow their business.

Yates told FOX13 she’s more excited than ever to get more kids moving and grooving.

“Right now, more than ever it’s very important because there is almost little to nothing to do,” Yates said.

The grand opening of the new studio in Oak Court mall will be June 6 from noon until 3 p.m.

Mayor Jim Strickland and several well-known artists are expected to be in attendance