Grace Conservatory breaks ground for new facility

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Right now, the plot of land at 445 Town Plaza Ave., Ponte Vedra, is a nondescript field across the parking lot from the link. But sometime next May it will be home to Grace Conservatory of Dance’s new, 6,000-square-foot studio.

On Tuesday, Aug. 9, Kristina and Vaughn Robison, surrounded by dance students and parents, ceremonially broke ground for the studio.

“We’re really excited,” said owner Kristina Robison. “We love what we do. This is a gift that I was given. Ever since I was 5 years old, I knew I wanted to own a dance studio.”

Grace Conservatory has been operating out of a space across the street since opening in August 2016. But the interest has been so great among current and prospective students that it became necessary to move into a larger space.

The studio has served thousands of young dancers over the past six years. It offers instruction to children and youth between the ages of 2 and 18 in a variety of styles: ballet, hip hop, tap, jazz, contemporary and more.

Currently, 958 positions are filled and there is a wait list for about 900 more. One student may fill more than one position if taking classes in more than one genre. The new facility will allow more positions to be filled.

It will have four studios, a dance store, dressing rooms, an art studio and a lounge for teachers and parents.

The Robisons attribute their success in part to their approach. Though the students are encouraged to excel, they are not nagged about their technique.

“We teach in a very different way to create that love of dance that you can just see pour out of them,” said Kristina Robison.

In fact, the lessons learned here transcend dance to include a degree of personal development.

“We’re really hoping that they become well-rounded people when they leave us,” Kristina Robison said.

In the decades ahead, the Robisons expect to produce between 10 and 100 professional dancers.

“But,” said Vaughn Robison, “we know that we will produce probably tens of thousands of good people.”

The Robisons are people of faith and, while they do not require their students to share their beliefs, those beliefs drive the way they conduct their business.

“The truth of this studio is it’s a blessing from God,” Vaughn Robison said. “We know that we have been the benefactors of His grace and blessing throughout our years. He’s walked us through the pandemic. He’s made sure that we had the things that we need. And we have been, each day, overflowing with students, overflowing with great, talented dance teachers. And we are so grateful for His provision, guidance and love.”

Over the time Grace Conservatory has been in existence, it has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable giving.

Kristina Robison is a graduate of the dance conservatory at Texas Women’s University. She taught in San Antonio before moving to New York City to dance professionally. She and her husband moved to Nocatee in 2015. They have four children.

To learn more about Grace Conservatory of Dance, go to graceconservatory.com or call 904-900-0909.

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