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         It isn’t difficult to detect from the moment she opens her mouth that dancing is her passion. So contagious are her words that even I began to wonder if maybe, just maybe, she could teach me a step or two.

          Francie Keene, owner, director, and instructor of Clarkesville School of Dance, opens her doors with 40 years of experience to offer her students. Francie grew-up dancing. “Not every little girl from Stone Mountain, Georgia makes it to Broadway,” she says with a twinkle in her eye, “…but I did.”

          This motivation is the driving force behind Clarkesville School of Dance. “I have excitement for the Arts and even more for young people. I want them to know, if they desire Broadway, they can have Broadway, and if they just love to dance, that's ok too. I love to teach. That’s a great combination.”

          It is evident from her long list of accomplishments that Keene has the experience to back-up her statements. At the age of 8 years old, Keene began with roles in The King & I with Yul Brenner, South Pacific, and Fiddler on the Roof. She danced at the Crystal Pistol at Six Flags over Georgia and performed in Spellbound in Los Angeles, Tahoe, and Atlantic City. Keene worked for Disney World and was a part of the original cast of Beauty and the Beast among other shows. On Broadway she danced in Will Rogers Follies and was a part of the first National Tour. Throughout her career, Keene has enjoyed working with such artists as Michael Crawford, Tommy Tune, Mac Davis, and Gregory Hines. She also had the opportunity to perform for President Bill Clinton and the First Lady.  

 Her litany of shows is impressive; but it is her character that draws people to her. “God has given me the gift of dance. I just want to share it.” 


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