At the heart of our studio is Barbara Bowden. She was the mother of our founder, Dianna Jones, and was a teacher in East Baton Rouge for over 50 years. Dianna, "Ms. D" to all those who know and love her, says that everything she knows about teaching she learned from her mom. She began observing the way her mom interacted with students from a very early age, and used that, along with the faith they shared, as her foundation once she began teaching students of her own.
Both Mrs. Bowden and Dianna's dance mentor, Margaret Powell, saw her potential to educate and train other dancers when she was just 13 years old. After assisting Mrs. Powell during a summer program, she began teaching children at a local health club while their parents exercised. When the number of her students outgrew this facility, Mrs. Bowden rented a studio where Ms. D was able to continue to teach. That same year, she went on to produce her first dance revue at Tanglewood Elementary in Baton Rouge at the age of 14 (pictured). Dianna designed the costumes and Mrs. Bowden, a master seamstress, made each one.
From that auspicious event, the Jean Leigh legacy began. The encouragement from her mother drove Dianna to share the gift of dance.