Dancers put New Richmond on the map
While some residents in the Twin Cities might not know where New Richmond is, those in the dancing community do - thanks to Short Dance Studios.
The Inver Grove Heights, Minn. and New Richmond-based studios are well known as premier dancing studios in most dancing circles, said one dance mom.
Lydia King, a student at Short Dance Studio in New Richmond, commutes from Amery just for that reason.
King, 16, is one of 40 competition dancers at Short Dance Studios who recently ended a year of first place finishes and high honors awards. Maya Dadez, a junior competitor at Short Dance Studios, also recently ended an amazing year taking home first place at the national competition for her solo tap performance, along with several other top finishes.
Wade Short, who owns the studio with his wife, Jessica, said he focuses on dance fundamentals in class and the awards come naturally.
"It's not always about having a big trophy," he said. "It's more about what you take away from it."
The Short Dance Studios was established in 1965 by Pat Short, Wade's mother. She retired in 1991 and handed the studio over to Dan Englin who ran the "Dance Dance Dan's" dance studio for five years. Wade Short and Jessica Skalicky took over in 1996. The two married in 1999 and the studios were renamed Short Dance Studios in 2000.
A new facility was purchased in New Richmond in 2003 and renovated to a 6,500-square-foot studio with two dance rooms and one music/dance room.
Since taking over the business in 1996, Short Dance Studios' New Richmond enrollment has increased from 13 to 175. The studio has won 52 best choreography awards, six grand champion awards and 104 high point first place awards.
"We're very proud of our kids," Short said. "If you're doing things consistently here, it'll come out there."
He said his goal is to give his dancers the education to take their dancing to the next level. Recent alumni are dancing as Timberwolves cheerleaders, Carnival Cruise Lines, as professional dancers in New York City and Milwaukee and at least five girls are currently dancing on college dance teams, he said.
"That's just what I can think of off the top of my head. There are too many to list," he said. "They go on to do great things if you teach them the right fundamentals."
King said she hopes to continue with her dancing after graduation.
King and Dadez have been dancing for eight and seven years, respectively. Depending on the time of year, the two said it's not uncommon to put in 15-20 hours a week at the studio - that's on top of school, homework and other extracurricular activities.
King said she started dancing because her mom and sister both danced.
"I used to watch them and would dance around our living room," she said. "I just like to move."
Dadez, 13, said she enjoys dancing because it's like being in her own little world.
"I really like the variety of all the different dances," she said.
Dance, along with teaching discipline, has also helped both girls develop their athletic ability.
Karl Dadez, Maya's father, said many athletes would benefit from taking dance classes.
Short knows all about that.
As a former state champion wrestler, Short said he often got funny looks when he walked into the dance studio.
"They'd ask me if I was lost or tell me I was in the wrong place," he said with a laugh.
Short Dance Studios offers classes for everyone from potty-trained children to adults, he said. Classes range from Mommy and Me classes to Creative Dance to Adult Fitness.
Short Dance Studios is part of The Valley Performing Arts Center, which offers preschool classes (The Garden), theater classes (Outside the Box Theatre), music classes (Everlasting Melodies) and fitness classes (Short & Sweet Fitness). For more information visit www.shortdancest udios.com or call 715-246-2300.