When the rooms of The Sutton Studio for the Performing Arts aren’t resonating with piano chords, dance music, monologues, or melodies, they’re filled with insightful declamations from the highly experienced staff. Artistic director Jamie Lynn Gilliam leads the talented troupe, bringing more than 25 years of musical-theater experience that include dancing in professional productions and convincing Robert De Niro’s family that she was Robert De Niro. Her lieutenants include Kathy Todd Chaney, formerly of Kathy Todd Dance Studio, and several of the studio’s graduates, who teach tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop steps. Piano instructor Lynnette Jones has been playing piano for 27 years and acting teacher Josh Gilliam has performed in several professional productions since he graduated from Otterbein University’s musical-theater program. All this expertise fills The Sutton Studio’s two locations and unfolds during an array of classes, performances, and even private birthday parties.
The Kentucky Ballet Theatre was founded in 1998 to give Lexington audiences their own local company of ballet dancers. The performances that have followed have included classics such as Prokofiev's Cinderella and new works such as Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. The dancers host their shows at the Lexington Opera House, a historical landmark which was built in 1887, was converted into a movie theater in the 1920s, and did a brief stint as a Rockette before returning to its classical roots in 1976.
Having passed on their rug-cutting inclinations to local celebrities such as basketball coach Denny Crum, the sure-footed staff at Shall We Dance? continues to unleash an arsenal of graceful moves inside their two studios. Students of all skill levels step in time with the school's curriculum of Latin, nightclub, and American dance styles during private or group lessons, using their feet like metal detectors to scan the floor for long-lost grooves. Stately triple beats whirl waltzers across the floor, steamy struts abound in tango lessons, and fox-trot instructors bring students to their knees in classical hunting poses and many more dance styles. Neophytes can then show off their new steps during practice parties with whimsical themes.
Tell us about your business.
Christian Way Farm was established to provide a family friendly place to enjoy the experience of a farm and a visit to the country. From picnics to a relaxing afternoon on the front porch of the barn, feeding animals, playing in a corn truck, or now playing through a farm-themed miniature golf course, the farm is intended to be a place to enjoy the outdoors, participate in farm activities and feel the goodness of God—in all that He has created for us to enjoy.
What makes your business stand out?
The farm is gorgeous and has been maintained to keep the natural look. The store is in a barn. The tractors are older. Visitors can touch the animals. They can use the antique equipment. The setting is authentic farm but maintained to accommodate the public.
What inspired you to start this business?
In 1999, Milt was managing a large orchard and we decided he should quit his job there to move our family to Hopkinsville and build a house on the exact location of his grandfather's home on the family farm. Our goal was to begin with a pumpkin patch, but at the time that's all we knew. In the years since our first crop of pumpkins, we have built our business with the idea that planting seeds is important. We knew that we were to invite people to the farm and without "preaching" to share the love of Christ with everyone who comes here. We wanted an agri-tourism experience that made a safe fun place for families to come, but we wanted that atmosphere to be one that means our customers walk away knowing they have been cared for in the best possible way. Planting a seed—that will bring a harvest of good experiences.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
On a regular basis we hear, "Can we just move here? Can we just live with you all here," and on a temporary basis, some move in with us for a while. We often hear from soldiers who said, "I can just really decompress here," and from families where a spouse is about to deploy [and tell us], "We just wanted to enjoy a good family day together before he leaves."
What’s your favorite part about your job?
All of it. Living on the farm, raising [our] family while doing this, and meeting thousands of people.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Reservations/Appointments: Not necessary
Most popular offering: Miniature golf, feeding farm animals, and pumpkin patch
Pro Tip: We are located in the country so allow time to travel to here and allow plenty of time to visit.
For more than 65 years, Barbara Ann's School of Dance has offered lessons for pupils aged 3 through adult. When the students pass through the school's pink doors, expert trainers immerse them in the art of ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and more. Besides confidence, they instill dancers with coordination, poise, and grace. Since fun is a big part of dance, they also offer ballet-themed birthday parties where girls aged 3–8 can try on more than 100 costumes and face-pirouette into cake.