Small Business Spotlight: Harris family opens a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and dance studio in Kimberling City

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. – Kimberling City has two new options for both children and adult activities in Paragon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Jaydie Leigh Dance, each of which opened on Oct. 26. 

The two businesses are both run by the Harris family who just moved to Missouri from Southern California. Each business will feature their own 1,000-square-foot studio within the same commercial building.

The Harris family looked at different places to live in Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri for nearly 7 years. Eventually falling in love with the Table Rock Lake area, the family decided to make the Show-Me State their permanent, new home.

“We feel like with Branson and Springfield, there’s other things that kids are able to do from what we learned,” wife and mother Shannon Harris said. “We actually live in Kimberling and the more people that we got to know and talk to were like, ‘We really don’t have anything here for our kids’. So that’s what made us stick right here to where we live.”

Harris’ husband, Joe, has a 1st degree black belt in BJJ and is the head trainer, or ‘Professor’, of their studio. Joe won the 2015 brown belt world championship and shares the passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with his family. 

Shannon and Joe’s son, Joey, has practiced the art since age 4 and is now a 16 year old blue belt with plans to help train new students at Paragon. Shannon has a white belt, which is a beginner’s belt for adults and their daughter, Jaydie, is a gray belt, which is a beginner’s belt in the kids division.

Harris said that ranking up in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a little different than earning your belts in other forms of martial arts. Taking steps towards your next degree generally takes more time. 

“It depends on how often you are coming and how quickly you are picking up the technique. There’s different things that professors are looking for in order to rank the next belt. You basically have to have the knowledge and know how to be able to rank up. Everyone is so different.”

If any students become interested in competition, Shannon said Paragon will start a competition team separate from their normal Jiu Jitsu classes. But first, Joe would like to concentrate on technique and self defense.  

As for Jaydie Leigh Dance, daughter Jaydie Leigh has been dancing since the age of 2 and has competed since the age of 4. By 12 years old, Jaydie was learning directly from well-known choreographers while training at a Los Angeles dance studio. Babysitting often when she was young, Jaydie also has a passion for working with children and helping them succeed. 

“She said to me years ago, ‘Mom, one of these days, I think I will eventually own a dance studio because I love children and my passion for dance, I can combine them,” Harris said. “When we thought about the Jiu Jitsu studio, we thought, ‘Why not do a dance studio at the same time?’ That is when we decided upon both and we found a commercial building that could do that for us.”

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes are $80 per month for ages 4 to 7 (two classes per week). Ages 8 to 14 are $100 per month (3-4 classes per week) and adult classes for 15 years and up are $100 per month (3-4 classes per week).

Dance classes are $40 per month for ages 3-6 and older girls/adults are $55 per month, each teaching one class per week. Shannon also said that the more dance classes a student takes, the more discounts they will receive. 

The businesses are located at 13099 Highway 13, Unit F in Kimberling City.

Those interested can visit either Paragon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Studio’s website or The Jaydie Leigh Dance Studio’s website for more information. 


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