After school on Wednesday, the lobby of Time to Shine! The Center for Performing Arts in Pace filled with excited young ballet and jazz dancers, guitar players and singers.
The dancers and musicians separated into their designated rooms and instructors quickly started classes - allowing the lobby to settle down, at least until the next round of classes began.
Time to Shine has managed to enroll more than 150 students since opening on February 4.
"This shows the overwhelming demand for the arts," said Time to Shine owner, Ruth "Bootsie" Campbell. "There is a lack of culture here. Plenty of sports, but with the budget cuts in schools, there's not much for the arts."
Various dance, music and fitness classes are offered for pre-school age children through adults. Classes include piano, violin, hip-hop, ballet, body sculpting, yoga and Pilates.
Campbell, a Milton resident, has had a love for the arts since she started tap dancing and gymnastics at the age of three; however, she didn't pursue it professionally. She has a business background and previously owned a real estate franchise in Missouri and a horse ranch in Wyoming. She and her husband, Wayne, currently live on a ranch in Milton, which is how she got the nickname "Bootsie."
After recognizing the need for a performing arts facility in the area, Campbell began to staff the school with a wide-range of talented professionals. The violin instructor is a member of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, the ballet teacher is a former professional ballerina and the tap dance teacher has performed for special guests at the Kentucky Derby - to name a few.
And Campbell isn't afraid to show-off her own tap dancing skills, which she still practices in the adult tap class at the center.
Students in Time to Shine! will display their talents at a Showcase on June 8 at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, as well as the Riverwalk Arts Festival and Relay for Life in April.
More information about classes and tuition can be found on the website, timetoshineflorida.com. Tuition is a monthly cost determined by the number of classes the student enrolls in. for dance classes, the cost ranges from $45 a month for a student in one dance class to $185 for unlimited classes.
Campbell hopes to fill this void and create a "mini-Juilliard" (famous New York school of arts) in Pace, offering the full spectrum of arts under one roof.
"We have most definitely put our finger on the pulse of what is missing in Pace, Florida."
About Time to Shine Center for Performing Arts
-4375 Woodbine Road, Pace
More online: timetoshineflorida.com