Dance studio inspired by slain Spring family expanding, offering scholarship in memory of victims

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It has been nearly a year since the tragic deaths of a Spring family shocked the community and made headlines around the nation.

Last July, Stephen and Katie Stay, along with four of their five children, were gunned down inside their home by an estranged relative. Now, a neighbor and friend is honoring the family with a dream inspired by two of the young victims.

Moriah Davis had put aside her childhood dream of opening her own dance studio. But when her friend Katie Stay moved to town, that dream was ignited once again by Katie. Katy insisted that Davis teach her young daughters to dance because she didn't want to pay the high tuition of dance schools. Davis started teaching the girls in her living room. But one of Katie's daughters, eager young Becca, pushed her to expand.

"Miss Moriah, we need a real dance studio with mirrors like on 'Despicable Me,' and we need a recital", Davis recalls Becca telling her.

But Becca would never see that real dance studio. The Stay family -- Becca, along with her parents and three of her siblings -- were murdered in a grisly shooting spree. The day after their funerals, Moriah Davis signed the papers to her new dance facility, and the "Moriah Davis School of the Arts" was born.

Davis advertised her first recital, and dozens of new clients signed on. Now, she is expanding the school again, and keeps the Stay girls in her thoughts. The school used Becca and Emily Stay's initials, "B" and "E," as the school's motto.

"We thought 'BE Dance' would be fun for Becca and Emily. 'BE dance,' be everything Becca and Emily were," Davis said.

The Moriah Davis School of the Arts is giving out two scholarships to dancers who embody the "Be Dance" spirit. They will be acknowledged at a recital on Saturday night.

An official memorial page for the family has been set up on Facebook.
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