Someone 2 Know: Lily Baran - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Someone 2 Know: Lily Baran

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Kristen Remington
Channel 2 News

Never stop moving.  Words dozens of Tahoe dancers have heard over and over again. It is also a mantra adopted by the original owner of the Tahoe Player's Dance Studio. Monica Folio started dancing as a young child and her natural talent was noted early on. She made dance her life's work and opened a number of studios - influencing hundreds along the way.  She taught legends like gymnast Mary Lou Retton and actor Patrick Swayze.

Twelve years ago, Monica moved to Lake Tahoe and opened up shop in Incline. Last year, however, she lost her battle with heart disease, but her spirit continues to dance.  It dances through one person, in particular.

"Gorgeous! Way, way better. Way, way better!" belted a vibrant dancer in the front of the room.  Lily Baran watches the other dancers closely; offering constructive criticism with a warm smile on her face - just like her grandmother.  That's right, Lily is filling the shoes on her grandmother.  "Acting and dancing was her life. There was nothing else."

Monica raised Lily and taught her to dance.  Lily even taught classes with her.  "I taught my first adult tap dance class with her when I was 10."  Lily went on to study musical theater in New York and she was about to go on tour as a back-up singer when her grandmother died. Without Monica, however, the studio would close. So, Lily put her dreams on hold -- to keep her grandmother's passion alive.

"The first week back, I was just really shaky. I was worried that nobody wanted just me and that I wasn't good enough or that I wasn't ready. Hardly the case, but whenever there were doubts, Monica was always nearby. "Once we started going, it was almost like I could hear her say, 'Don't do that, do this. We should do another show; what about Annie?'"

So, that's exactly what she did.  Through all the shows, Miss Lily's taught these girls much more than choreography and technique though. She has shown them what it means to be resilient; and when life gets tough, how to carry yourself with grace and never stop moving.

Lily also runs the Tahoe Player's Association non-profit, which puts on large productions throughout the year.  Actors, dancers and singers from all over northern Nevada join the cast for those shows.  To learn more or make a donation, log onto You can also learn more about Lily's next dance production, Thoroughly Modern Millie, scheduled to show at John Ascuaga's Nugget in June.



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