Katie Parker needed to find a way to pay for her BYU tuition, so she started a sing and dance company for girls. It has not only impacted many young people, but has lifted the lives of young mothers all over the U.S.
Parker said she didn’t want to be tied down by a 9-to-5 job, so her mother suggested she start a performing group and use her talents to teach little girls. That was when Singers Company was born.
“The mission was always to have fun through music and dance, but when I (thought) about Singers Company over the years, I would change things in my lesson plans,” Parker said.
The company began as a way to make money for Parker to put herself through a public relations degree at BYU, but it evolved over time to focus on the interactions with the girls and helping them gain confidence in themselves.
Parker said the beauty of doing Singers Company as a student was that she only taught once a week, leaving plenty of time to work and study. Now, after graduating in 2000, it gives her time to balance being a mom, she said.
Provo Singers Company Director Camille Anderson said the company has grown from five directors the first year to over 50 directors running franchises all over the United States, all with a much deeper purpose than singing and dancing.
“The purpose of Singers Company is to provide a fun and emotionally safe environment where every single girl knows that she is loved, her efforts are valued and that what she has to offer to the group matters,” Anderson said. “We hope to instill a pattern for strengthening confidence and sharing our talents with the world.”
Singers Company Show Development Director Becky Fife said each show is centered around principles they want the girls to learn.
“I love building shows around helping the girls learn simple lessons, like Christmas isn’t about presents, its about being with family, or summertime is a time to discover new things and enjoy the world around you,” Fife said. “Usually the concepts have to do with family, being kind, helping others (and) making a difference in the world.”
Both Fife and Anderson said they have observed shy girls gain confidence to sing on their own. They have also seen high-energy girls learn to share the spotlight, girls going through a parent’s divorce or another crisis find hope and girls who struggle with participating in extracurricular activities get excited about performing.
Parker said Singers Company not only impacts the girls who are involved, but it helps the directors, who are usually full-time mothers, as well.
“Singers company provides a way for these women to find themselves again,” Parker said.
Anderson said helping girls gain confidence has helped her have confidence in her own life.
“I feel like I’ve been able to accomplish more in other areas of my life (and) contribute more to my family and community because I’ve learned how to recognize, develop and share my skills — just like we try to teach the girls to do,” Anderson said.
Anderson said Singers Company has a Christmas show and a spring show. Enrollment is in January and in the summer months. Girls across America can enroll with Singers Company by submitting an interest form on the Singers Company website, and local directors will contact them.