Let me be clear, I would be a TOTALLY different person without this MADP, IMPACT, and my dance family. Because that’s what it is, a family. You go through the hard times with your family, because they got you through yours. You celebrate and support their victories, because they pushed and climbed all your mountains with you too. Almost 7 years out of high school, I still feel this support and consider the space to be a home and a sanctuary.
After graduating, my body craved movement and a space with genuine people, but I quickly learned that MADP and IMPACT were irreplaceable. It’s deeper than poses.
It’s a space where you could be truly authentic, in all of your weird and wonderful ways. I grew up in Lago Vista and my first dance teacher directed me to go to MADP, because although it was 30 minutes away, we could learn and grow as dancers and performers. Little did I know that I’d learn way more than just dance. It’s deeper than poses.
Every day, I was so grateful to be there. I saw it as a privilege and developed a work ethic with integrity and grit. This lesson has taken me far beyond just the studio floors. It’s deeper than poses.
The themes each year were quintessential for who I am now. I often think, “If it wasn’t for this theme, would I have the courage and curiosity to have done this thing now?” It’s deeper than poses.
Movement is medicine to me. We may physically leave the space, but it is ingrained in who we are. As alumni we go from the student and performer, to the supporter and occasional surprise guest. It’s a gift to be able to celebrate the people, new faces and old, and the space that has treated us oh so well. It is so much deeper than poses, and I love every part of it.
-Lauren G- alumni
I started dancing at 3. My parents always tell the story about, “how my toes turned purple because all I wanted to do was move.” This remained consistent throughout my childhood. We moved to Cedar Park, Texas when I was 9 years old. I’ll never forget the day I walked into M.A Dance Project’s lobby for the first time. I was showered with warmth. At the time, I didn’t know it, but the most important lessons of my life would be taught within those four walls. M.A quickly became my mentor, my guide & my largest inspiration. She taught me about music, she encouraged me to step out of my awkward shell & she created a space that was beyond safe to express myself freely. I vividly remember hearing Bob Marley for the first time per M.A’s request, it was an altering experience. My musical taste, the way I approach life, and the type of life I lead is largely due to the influence of M.A Hakanson & M.A Dance Project. When I first made the IMPACT team, I knew I’d spend the rest of my adolescence under M.A’s wing. She continued to support me personally and artistically. At 17, my life took a hard turn. I was lost & heartbroken. True to her word, M.A never let me down. The studio wrapped me in love, and because of the out-poor of support, I stayed on my feet. Without the guidance & endless grace I received, I’m not sure where I’d be today.
The experiences at M.A Dance Project are teachings & memories that will live in your heart forever. M.A builds strong dancers, but what’s more; she molds strong women. As a 26 year old, the influence of my time on IMPACT and dancing at M.A Dance Project still largely affects who I am today. I am beyond grateful for the years of my life spent within those four walls, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat if I could. Thank you, M.A. Words fail me when it comes to you and expressing how much M.A Dance Project did for me, the love & gratitude is endless.
-Catherine T.- alumni
"M.A. Dance Project is such an amazing fit for both my daughters. We tried different studios in the area and absolutely fell in love with this studio. We can't say enough about the amazing and talented director and teachers who go above and beyond. But most importantly are grateful to have found such a loving safe place for our daughters to grow, learn and have fun!"