by Dennis Dalman
A new Sartell location for the St. Cloud School of Dance & Ultimate Gymnastics opened August 30 at the Riverside Plaza Mall, 101 Seventh St. N.
It is located in a completely renovated commercial space next to the Hardware Hank store. Dance/gymnastics classes started at the new studio on September 6th.
Previously, Sartell Dance/Gymnastics Company classes were held at the Sartell Community Center. The studio in the Riverside Plaza shopping center will be the new Sartell residence for the School of Dance.
The parent company, which began nearly seven decades ago, is located at 3027 Southway Drive in St. Cloud. Sue Arnold, owner of St. Cloud School of Dance & Ultimate Gymnastics, told the Sartell Newsleader a bit about the history of the dance school. In 1953, Sue’s mother, Ruth Babler, opened a dance studio in the basement of her house on South St. Cloud, directly across from Washington Elementary School. Sue grew up – unsurprisingly – with a passion for dance and teaching dance. She was the main dance teacher for 13 years at Tech High School and for five years at Apollo High School. Last year, she resumed teaching a cooperative team of Apollo and Tech dancers. The teams she has taught have won many championships over the years.
Arnold’s daughter, Becky Quinn, is also a dance teacher for her mother’s studios – at St. Cloud and Sartell. She was a member of the University of Minnesota dance team and has been teaching students for over 25 years. Quinn is also an award-winning choreographer with a Masters in Education and Curriculum Development. She is the mother of four daughters who (surprise!) all love to dance.
There are approximately two dozen instructors, as well as assistant instructors and sometimes distinguished guest instructors for St. Cloud School of Dance & Ultimate Gymnastics.
One such instructor is Sloan Schwarzentraub of Sartell, who was an award-winning dancer on the Sartell High School Sabers team. She graduated in 2017, then earned a private studio dance degree at Mankato State University, graduating in 2021. During her college years, she danced with the dance team Maverick from college, serving as captain when the team placed second and third in Jazz. dancing. She won a national championship in the cheerleading category. Last month, Schwarzentraub choreographed the musical “Mary Poppins” at Rocori High School, Cold Spring.
At the new Sartell site, Schwarzentraub teaches dance but also yoga, Pilates and other classes.
St. Cloud’s School of Dance and Gymnastics offers classes that include classical ballet and dance forms that include lyrical, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, tap and more. The dancers participate in dance meets at area high schools, perform at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and hold spring and winter recitals at the Ritsche Auditorium on the campus of St. Cloud State University. This November 19, they will have a performance by the Sartell Dance Team at Sartell High School.
Some of the dance program offerings include:
An introductory recreational dance and gymnastics class runs one hour per week and includes ballet, jazz, hip-hop and tap. All courses are designed to build students’ self-confidence and self-discipline.
The 1-Day Competition Dance Lines class meets once a week for two hours. It is intended for students who already have dance skills and those with intermediate skills. Students perform a dance at the Winter Show in December, at a Spring Recital in May, and at a Dance Competition in the Spring.
2-Day Competition Dance Lines students typically include some of the best dancers in the state who regularly win prizes in competitions from all walks of life. The class meets twice a week for two hours.
There is also a wide variety of gymnastics classes – for example preschool gymnastics for 3-5 year olds, recreational gymnastics for 5+, team gymnastics which includes a Cub Prep team and a competitive Tiger team. Preschool children from the age of 2 can participate in basic gymnastics lessons.
Tuition for most classes at St. Cloud School of Dance & Ultimate Gymnastics ranges from approximately $60 to $90 per month. For a full schedule of offerings, visit her website at stclouddance.com
The company is also looking to hire more dance teachers and gymnastics coaches. For more information, visit the website or call 320-251-3110.