New dance coach brings flair to Fort Lupton

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By Ben Wiebesiek

FORT LUPTON  — The boys are trying to show off on the floor of the C4 Dance Studio.
    As they dance, they slide into a kneeling stance with their arms bent to bring their fists up to their chins.
    “We’re doing the Tebow!” they call out to their instructor, Princess Wallace, who walks over to the boys and sharpens the angles of their arms into a more striking pose.

    “Tim Tebow moved,” Wallace said. “Try this.”
    The new moves work, and the boys light up as they see the potential.
    Her technique as the instructor of the new dance studio is to avoid saying “no” when the teenagers want to try something new. But she freely uses her experience when it’s called on to give a routine an extra degree of spark.
    Princess Wallace came out to Fort Lupton less than a year ago, but she’s already jumped into the community with both feet.
    In addition to running the studio, she’s coaching dance for the students at Fort Lupton High School.
    These are jobs that Wallace is clearly passionate about, but it only scrapes the surface of her entertainment resumé.
    “I’m a stand-up comedian; I do improv; I’m a corporate event emcee; I juggle fire; I’m a gymnastics coach. I’ve been teaching for 24 years, including teaching voice and piano,” Wallace said. “I’m used to being ‘on,’ period.”
    She freely admits that caffeine makes all of these businesses ventures possible.
    “I’m flying out later in September to Epcot Center to be a Vegas show girl,” Wallace said. “I’ve been impersonating Marilyn Monroe for six years, and I have a concert as her, too. And that has been pretty successful. I get called to be her a lot.”
    Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to entertainment, she said, especially if that’s how a person want to pay their bills.
    “So if you’re just a comedian, you aren’t not going to work all the time. And a dancer? A dancer is a dime a dozen,” Wallace said. “If you’re a dancer that can perform, that’s the difference. Because there’s dancers that can out-dance me 10 ways to Sunday, but they’ll never out-perform me.”
    It should come as no surprise that Wallace’s level of intensity started during childhood.
    “I was five when I got my first starring role,” she remembers. “And my dad was a preacher, and my mom did musicals in high school. And my dad was also in the Naval choir. My sister has her doctorate in music. My brother had a great voice. So it was in my family.”
    She admits that having the given name of “Princess” while she was in grade school made her a target for the bullies. But she also feels that the experience helped give her the thick skin and the “can-do” mentality required for her profession.
    This attitude extends to her teaching philosophy, which centers on honesty.
    Self honesty, that is. She freely admits that entertainers have to “sell” a vision of themselves in different roles and different styles.
    “But you have to be honest when you access your strengths and weaknesses,” Wallace said. “It’s the only way you can improve.”
    She did her first national tour at the age of 16, and she was on Broadway twice by the 22. Wallace knows that some of her current students might not be as driven, but she isn’t trying to recreate her career for them.
    “But I do insist on pride,” she said.
    When one of her students described Fort Lupton as a “ghetto,” she got them out in the community fast to see what they should appreciate.
    Her students participated in a curb painting party to help improve the appearance of the Fort Lupton’s down town, and when the students were done, they were eager for more.
    “They saw that Fort Lupton isn’t a ghetto. They saw that the community is what you make of it. And now, they’re asking when they can go out and paint more curbs in the city,” Wallace said. “It all has to do with your attitude. Let the unexpected happen.”