It’s no surprise that many dance teachers have children who go on to become teachers themselves. Countless hours spent teaching—on the road or at the studio—makes the classroom a second home and developing a passion for dance practically second nature. But for some teachers, seeing their kids develop a passion for dance comes as a surprise. Take longtime tap instructor at Chapman University Brandee Lara Barnaby.
“If someone had told me that my kid would end up in dance education, I wouldn’t have believed them,” says Barnaby, who won the 2015 Dance Teacher Award in the Higher Education category. Her son Dante Lara, who now teaches tap in Southern California, started teaching after graduating from Chapman University. “I had some of the best teachers in the world growing up, starting with my mom, and I owe it to these mentors to be the best dance teacher I can,” says Dante.
A young Dante with his mom and tap legend Gregory Hines. Photo courtesy of Lara Barnaby
Here are three other teachers who also had kids who went on to teach.
Denise Wall and Travis Wall
When it comes to the Wall family, the more appropriate point to raise is how could you not become a dancer if your mom and teacher was Denise Wall? But since conquering “So You Think You Can Dance” as a contestant, Travis has gone on to prove he’s just as gifted as a teacher and choreographer.
Kim DelGrosso and Ashly Costa
Kim DelGrosso, co-owner of Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Utah, has taught “So You Think You Can Dance” stars Ashleigh and Ryan Di Lello, and “Dancing With the Stars” pros Chelsie Hightower, Julianne and Derek Hough and Ashly Costa, who happens to be DelGrosso’s daughter. Costa has now made a name for herself bringing ballroom class to the convention circuit. Clearly, the apples didn’t fall far from this dancing family tree.
Debbie Allen and Vivian Nixon
This mother-daughter powerhouse duo has got it all. The remarkable Debbie Allen needs no introduction, but in case you didn’t know, her daughter Vivian, who danced on Broadway in Memphis and Hot Feet, is a also a regular teacher at her mom’s studio in Los Angeles. Based on the caption below, it’s no surprise Nixon followed in her mother’s footsteps.