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Wedding dance coach does house calls

October 5, 2018

Musical theater choreographer Stephanie Hendrickson was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding when she came up with the idea for her Friendswood business, Fairytale Dance Creations.

“The bride and groom asked me to help them with their ‘first dance,’” said Hendrickson, referring to a ritual that often kicks off many wedding receptions.

“We wanted to do something nice and polished; so we asked Stephanie to teach us a couple of spins and dips,” said the bride, Stacy D’Agostaro of Pearland. “I started recommending her to all of my engaged friends.”

Hendrickson thought, “I could make a business out of this.”

Now she specializes in custom-choreographing dances for weddings, quinceañeras, Sweet 16 parties and other events.

Hendrickson opened Fairytale Dance Creations in August 2017. The business operates out of her home studio. But she often travels to a client’s home or rents space at a dance studio in Webster for bigger projects.

“This is a great timesaver for the couple to have the professional come to them,” she said.

Six standard packages are offered, with prices ranging from $80 for a one-hour session to teach basic steps for a father/daughter dance to $2,500 for 10 sessions in which Hendrickson choreographs waltzes and moves for up to 10 dancers in a wedding court.

Add-ons feature instructions for such particulars as a mother/son dance.

“Taking dance lessons for your wedding is a great bonding activity leading up to the wedding,” Hendrickson said. “It’s fun and a stress reliever leading up to the big day.”

D’Agostaro agreed. “I have a tendency not to like to follow my partner; so maybe at first there was a little struggle. My husband said, ‘Just let me lead.’ Stephanie helped us get over that hurdle.”

Hendrickson, who is 29 and single, began dancing at age 3 and continued for about a dozen years as a student at Jill Rauscher School of Dance in Webster. At Clear Brook High School, where she graduated in 2007, Hendrickson played oboe in the school band.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in environmental studies in 2011 at Texas A&M University, where she was a champion ballroom dancer on the collegiate circuit.

Hendrickson worked for several years in the oil-and-gas industry and for an environmental nonprofit group while also choreographing stage musicals in the Bay Area.

“Over the summer, Stephanie choreographed the musical ‘Young Frankenstein,’ which I directed,” said Christopher Lowe of Bay Area Harbour Playhouse in Dickinson. “She had to control 20 actors at once, each moving in keeping with their characterizations, and she found creative ways to fill the stage. She works well with people. I am looking forward to her choreographing next summer’s musical.”

Hendrickson said she’s worked with couples whose first dances have been to songs by artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran.

“For me, personally, I would like my first dance to be ’Ten Minutes Ago’ from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella,’” she said.

Hendrickson is a member of Bay Area Wedding Professionals, an organization for local wedding vendors.

For further information, call 281-467-6432 or visit www.fairytaledancecreations.com.

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be reached at donmaines@att.net

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