Meet a Mom – Meet Lydia Hance, Founder of Frame Dance | West University Moms

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
I grew up in Marin County, California and I moved to Texas to attend Southern Methodist University. I have been in Houston for 13 years—I love it!

Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Micah, my son, is 3.5 and I am 36 weeks pregnant with a little girl.

One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I really don’t mind the Houston heat.

Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
We love supporting local artists, attending dance, theater, and music performances. If you haven’t discovered the breadth of the small and mid-sized arts organizations we have here, I encourage you to do so!

Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
We love exploring restaurants in Chinatown. My son Micah’s favorite place to eat is Olive Garden. For a lengthy kid meal, we enjoy Punk’s Simple Southern Food because of the big lawn. But you’ll see us most often at Skeeter’s.

What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out?
At my dance studio we have a monthly workshop called Candlelight Dancing. It’s like a guided movement meditation. There’s live music, candlelight, and it’s a time for reflection and restoration. Dancers, non-dancers, yogis, young and old all attend. It’s soul-nourishing. I try to prioritize my emotional health, but I probably too often skip the manicure.

Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share! 

I am! I am a professional dancer, and Frame Dance is the professional dance company I founded in 2010. We are known for creating public dance performances in unconventional spaces. You may have seen METROdances, an annual traveling performance we create on the light rail. Collaboration is at our core, so you’ll always see something new at a Frame Dance show—dance mixed with photography, painting, ukuleles, theater, video, and coming up—virtual reality. We curate and co-host an international dance film festival with Houston Ballet in the Fall called Frame x Frame Film Fest.

I started an education program for Frame Dance in 2015 which now includes classes, ensembles, and camps for 6 weeks – 99 years old. We have an incredible Youth Ensemble that allows young artists to be makers of movement in addition to learning technique. They learn dance and costume design, photography, choreography and more. Next up are our Summer Camps: Wiggle Worm Camp (3-5 years), Leaping Lizards Camp (6-8 years), and Formers and Framers Camp (9-13 years), all interdisciplinary camps taught by leading professionals in their fields. We may be best known for our creative movement program and our multigenerational classes—from Family Creative Movement through our MultiGenerational Framers Community Ensemble.We believe everyone is an artist, and all are welcome at Frame Dance.

How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I often say that I’m Houston’s biggest fan. I have found that here, if you have a dream, there are people who will join you in making it happen. That is so rare and so beautiful. Houston has allowed me the space to make my dream a reality and the community to come alongside me to facilitate its growth.

What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
I like to come back to my “why.” Some days I feel like a superhero and some days I feel like I haven’t done anything right. But remembering my purpose is very grounding for me and shifts my focus on tangible achievement to living with integrity, focus, compassion, and service. I have also decided that I don’t want to hide my struggles from my children. It’s important to me that they see me as human, and to know that I struggle just like they do.

What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
You will get your body back (a significant concern for a dancer), and more importantly, being a mother to a totally dependent little person won’t take away from who you are, it will actually add to who you are—in such fulfilling ways.

Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?

Keep wipes in every room and always carry a snack.

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