August 18, 2004 at 4:09 p.m.
Laura Moody is just 21 years old, yet she has taken over the ownership of Kaleidoscope Dance Studio, located in the Mason building on Lake Blvd. Moody has dived right into the role of owner of a dance studio that teaches around 100 students and is looking forward to her first schedule of classes this fall.
When Debbie Pieper decided to move on after owning the business for 23 years, she turned to Moody as a possible owner. Moody was well-known at the dance studio after taking classes and teaching there for 15 years. At first, Moody wasn’t sure if she should take such as huge step at this time of her life.
Since graduating from Chisago Lakes High School in 2001, Moody had gone on to complete three years at Minnesota State University in Mankato. She was also a member of the dance team there for three years.
Moody knew that if she took over as owner of the dance studio, she would have to leave school before completing her senior year and graduating. It was a difficult decision to make.
“When Debbie called me, I didn’t know if I was ready to leave school,” Moody said. “But I decided this is an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”
Since that phone call, Moody has been slowly learning about what it takes to own and run a dance studio. She and her dancers were involved in Karl Oskar Days festivities and she has also taught summer clinics. Next month will be when things officially start up again with fall classes at Kaleidoscope.
Moody already has lofty goals for her new business, including someday being able to expand the business into a larger location where she could offer at least two classes simultaneously. Currently, the classes in tap, jazz, ballet, point and tumbling are performance-based only. Moody would like to eventually introduce competition lines so that those dancers could compete at a regional, state and possibly national level.
The slower schedule during the summer has helped Moody learn about running the business and her mom is also helping with the business-end of running the studio. Moody said fortunately Pieper is a family friend, so she’s hopeful that Pieper will be able to offer guidance as well.
As for college, Moody knows getting her degree is important for her. “I’ll go back and finish eventually,” she said.
Classes at Kaleidoscope Dance Studio are offered for ages two through adult and start Sept. 7. An open house is scheduled for Thurs., Aug. 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. so dancers have the chance to meet Moody and the two other dance instructors and view the studio. The classes then practice routines throughout the year to prepare for a dance recital in the spring.
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