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My Name Is... Joy Thomas

Castle Rock dance studio owner also has love for puzzles


About me

I was born and raised in Colorado. I grew up in Golden and during my high school years my family moved to Parker. This is where I met my husband (we’ll be celebrating our 20th anniversary in May). Our first house was in Parker, then we moved to Castle Rock and called that home for 16 years. We just recently moved back to Parker. We have two teenage children, Brandon and Brooke, and are enjoying this journey in life together.

A career in dance

I am the owner of Castle Rock Dance Academy. During my high school years when my family first moved to Parker, I was introduced to the owner of a local dance studio there. I was 15 at the time and started taking classes, assisting and eventually started teaching. My first class was a ballet/tap combo group of about eight kids ages 3 to 4. I continued working and eventually took on older age groups and different dance styles.

When my husband and I moved to Castle Rock and started having kids, our dynamics changed. It was then that, together, we started Kids Dance. It was a small studio that was geared toward younger dancers. I did all the teaching and my husband took care of the administrative side of things. 

Through the years, things changed quite a bit. My husband went back to work with his previous company, I was able to hire great instructors who each bring something unique and wonderful to the studio, and our very young dancers grew up. A couple years ago I decided to change the name of the studio from Kids Dance to Castle Rock Dance Academy. We are in our 13th season and the name change reflects the growth (we now have classes for students ages 3 to adult) and we also offer various styles of dance.

Why I love instructing dance

By far, the most rewarding aspect of this studio is watching the kids learn and grow. It’s pretty amazing to see a student who was 3 when she started, stick with it year after year, and is now a teenager. 

A unique hobby

I don’t have a lot of free time, but I do love building puzzles. My family allows me to have one a year (for Christmas) because I have a serious addiction and will literally ignore all other responsibilities until the puzzle is completed

My advice

Something that has been prevalent in my life is to be open to new ideas. It’s good to have a plan (I was going to be an elementary school teacher), but don’t have tunnel vision. Sometimes taking a leap of faith can end up being one of the greatest blessings of all.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is…, contact Jessica Gibbs at jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com.


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