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Dance Works Studio dancing strong for 40 years

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 11:15 PM MDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 1:20 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Dance Works Studio, a family owned business in the Grand Valley, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this week.

In 1981, Kathryn Schulte opened the studio, and in 1982 their first show was held. She had three girls who were very involved in the studio. They eventually went off to college and then went on to become professional dancers. But over time they all came back and began teaching with her.

“Its been a huge family experience,” said Dance Works Studio Owner and Director Kathryn Schulte. “Not only personal family for me but all of the students and parents coming through the doors have become family.”

However, Dance Works Studio was presented with a difficult time in 2020 with the beginning of the pandemic.

“Our most challenging time was definitely Covid,” said Kathryn. “Enrollment went down and we were closed for several months. But we’re building back up and stronger than ever.”

Rachel, one of Kathryn’s daughters, explained the struggle.

“We started with zoom classes,” said Dance Works Studio Performance Director Rachel Schulte-Hogge. “But eventually the students were getting sad and depressed. By the time summer came, restrictions had lifted a bit. We were able to open our doors and welcome in whoever felt comfortable coming in. It was a blessing for a lot of our students who had been stuck at home missing their friends and not being able to do what they love to do all the time.”

Kathryn and Rachel said family is what always got them through the trying times. They said their customers became family too.

“One of the most amazing things to me is to have those little ones, watch them grow from the time they’re three all the way through high school, sometimes even into college. Then they go away, they start their family, then they come back with their children,” said Kathryn. “So it’s definitely a generational thing, and its generational in our own family. I’m the nana, I have my daughters, and I have my granddaughters dancing.”

“I got to go away and dance professionally,” said Rachel. “When I turned 30 I was feeling the pull to be back home and be with the family business. This is home. My mom’s dream is becoming my dream.”

Kathryn and Rebecca said its the family aspect that has kept them going all these years. By showing the power in passing the art of dance down through generations and forming a strong community. As well as getting creative during the pandemic, to follow the rules while staying strong to keep hope and dreams alive.

To celebrate 40 years this week, Dance Works Studio is holding recitals at Palisade High School. They will be held on Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 21 at 2 p.m.

To purchase or reserve tickets, call Dance Works Studio at 970-243-5954 or visit them at 2586 Patterson Rd.

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