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Danspired aims to inspire students to dance
  • Updated

Angelica Greenwold was an instructor at a dance studio. After working up a routine with Krista Hanson, the parent of a dance student, the instructor jokingly said they should start up their own studio.

“I took her seriously,” said Hanson, who came up with the name Danspired, a studio that seeks to inspire through dance. “I presented it to her and was met with enthusiasm.”

Greenwold’s immediate response was, “Perfect. I love it! Let’s do it!”

Once they had a name, they needed a place. They wanted a place in Cameron.

Hanson said there already were dance studios in Rice Lake and Chetek but nothing for those in Cameron. It took awhile, with most places that were available not big enough. Then someone suggested using the former Cameron Elementary, a multi-purpose building already being used for pickleball, kickboxing, basketball and occasional craft shows. The building is owned by Daniel Mitchell who lives in Las Vegas, but the women were told to contact his brother John Mitchell of Barron, who had already heard through the grapevine that they were in search of a site for a dance studio.

“He had already been given a 411 on who I was and said ‘perfect’,” Hanson explained. “He was excited to have a new company starting up, another opportunity for kids in this town.”

Once they had a name and a location, it took a bit to make it legal, fill out the required paperwork, and set up the web site danspiredstudio.com and a Facebook page. They put fliers on community bulletin boards and got in on the Cumberland Rutabaga parade to spread the word.

Registration is still open until Oct. 15 for any of the dance classes they offer. A registration link can be found online or families are welcome to stop by in-person to register. Perspective students are also welcome to observe a class if they want to see what it is like.

Two other teachers helping them get the studio started with a leap are Haley Seston, who offers hip-hop; and Briana Sullivan, who teaches lyrical dance. Another teacher, Keely Summerlin, is starting Monday, when they split up the competition group into older and younger dancers.

Hanson said they are as flexible as they can be and aim to help each student find the dance that best suits them.

She said, “They can try out every style of dance, we’re definitely willing to let them do that. If they are not liking one, we will offer a different one instead.”

Located down a hall and to the left at the former school’s front entrance, directional signs lead to the dance studio, where there are two rooms, a Petit Jete (French for little leap) room for the youngest dancers; and Grand Jete (French for big leap) for older dancers.

The studio started Sept. 13 with 15 kids and every week since have added new ones as the kids tell their friends or inspire their siblings to try it. They offer discounts for multiple kids in one family and for those taking multiple classes.

“We know families want to have an outlet but they can’t always afford it,” Hanson said. “We are trying anything to get them here and help them save money.”

At this time, the dance studio is open Monday through Thursday from 4-7 p.m. The offer a 30-minute Tinys, 45-minute Basic, and 90-minute Competitive and Competition classes. Because gas, food and hotel stays and outfits can be expensive, they are trying to limit the dance competitions they enter to Green Bay, the Dells or no farther than Minnesota.

Inspired already

Both Hanson and Greenwold are pleased with the response so far.

“They’re so excited,” said Hanson. “I’ve seen a growth in them already.”

“They love it!” said Greenwold, who is teaching ballet to ages 2-4 and pom or jazz to ages 5-8. Cookies at the end of class are proving to be good motivation. With the mirrored studio, she described the first reactions of the littlest as fawns in the headlights. “They are absolutely adorable,” she said. “One didn’t talk for three weeks but is now warming up.”

She said the older students are really taking off. “Pom is probably the biggest hit,” Greenwold said. “They get poms. It’s upbeat, and you can throw any kind of dance into it.”

There are tables and chairs in the hallway for parents to wait and visit and coloring books and crayons to keep younger siblings busy. Parents are invited into the two dance studios for the last five minutes of class so their daughters, or sons, can show them what they have just learned.

“They get to see the progress their kids are making,” said Greenwold. “It’s more family-oriented here. We want to make kids feel celebrated and parents feel comfortable that they are safe with us.”

Holly Zenzen of Barron, who has a daughter and stepdaughter in the new dance classes, is happy for the new opportunities.

“I was trying to find a class that would take a two-year-old, most don’t start until three,” said the parent who saw Danspired come across Facebook and signed them up.

Although her tyke still wants her mom close by, she has found that getting there early and letting her two-year-old follow her instructor around and help her set up is giving the child some confidence. One time she got tired after only halfway through the class and laid down for the rest of the time, which was fine, she said. Her nine-year-old, on the other hand, at first tested the instructor’s boundaries but soon realized she needed to show respect or she won’t get the privilege to dance.

Parent Heather Winningham of Cameron shared, “My daughter Hannah has had Angelica in the past as her dance teacher, and when I heard she was opening a dance studio in Cameron, I knew I needed to sign Hannah up. Hannah has Down Syndrome, and her teacher Briana has been so patient and great with her. Hannah has always loved dancing. She is excited for every Wednesday. After every lesson we are able to come in and watch what the kids have learned, and I’m always amazed.”

The dance instructors said all of the dancers have seen the stage in the gym and know they have to learn all their dance steps before they can perform there. So they have a goal to reach for, a dance recital has been set for the end of January with shows on a Saturday early evening and Sunday late morning.

Hanson has a gymnastics background and said she has “11 years and counting” of dance experience. She can be reached at 715-418-1394.

Greenwold was on her high school dance team and has taught dance for four years. Call or text 715-205-5412 to contact her.

Local business to be featured in 'Destination Polaris' episode
  • Updated

When TrailHead Adventure owner Dana Heller got the call from “Destination Polaris” about being featured as a part of its show, it was a “no-brainer,” he said.

“Destination Polaris” host Jared Christie and crew were in Rice Lake on Friday, joining up with TrailHead Adventure staff, representatives with the Rice Lake Snow and Dirt Club, Barron County Sheriff’s Office recreation officer Jeff Wolfe, and others for a day of trail riding and filming.

Heller said there was fewer than two weeks notice but he got together his own crew to help showcase the outdoor destination the area can be.

Christie said the episode will be televised some time next spring. The show airs locally on Bally Sports Wisconsin and Bally Sports North, as well as all of its regional Bally Sports networks across the country to nearly 500,000 viewers a week.

The episode will be split in two parts, with scenes from Barron and Rusk counties in one half, and from the crews’ travels in Minnesota’s Iron Range also featured. “Destination Polaris” travels across the country for filming, as Christie said he was off to Idaho for his next stop and the team’s other film crew was just in the Pittsburgh, Penn., area.

The film crew and local contingent took off from TrailHead Adventure in a fleet of seven Polaris side-by-sides headed east to the Blue Hills. In addition to the trails the group stopped at Burdy’s Sports Bar & Grill in Weyerhaeuser for lunch before more riding in the Blue Hills before returning back to Rice Lake.

Christie said TrailHead Adventure is about the closest spot for Polaris ATV rentals for those from the Twin Cities metro, home of Polaris headquarters. That made the show’s trek to Rice Lake the perfect spot as they’re always looking to showcase the Upper Midwest in one of its 13-episodes that are broadcast per season. He noted that with the pandemic many are looking to get outdoors — whether that’s camping, fishing or trail riding — and people who have never rode ATVs make memories for a lifetime when they hit the trails. “Destination Polaris” has a goal to uncover the best riding destinations in the country.

Christie also oversees productions of shows for Ron Schara Productions, including “Minnesota Bound,” “Due North Outdoors” and “Made For the Outdoors” and others.

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Police investigating separate overdose incidents that left 2 dead in Rice Lake last week
  • Updated

Two incidents of possible drug overdoses left two dead in Rice Lake last week.

The Rice Lake police and fire departments, and Marshfield Medical Center ambulance responded to a medical emergency on W. Coleman Street in Rice Lake on Sept. 30, where officers found an unresponsive 36-year-old woman, according to a news release from the police department. Live-saving measures by officers and paramedics were unsuccessful.

The following day the police department assisted the Wisconsin Department of Probation to an address at W. Slocumb Street where a 40-year-old man was found dead.

Initial investigations for both incidents reveal the victims likely each died from drug overdoses. The investigation into both deaths and the origin or the illegal narcotics is ongoing and police are investigating whether or not the cases are related.

Samples from the narcotics are being sent to the state crime lab for testing. Autopsies are being conducted on each of the victims.


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