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From tap dancing to hip-hopping

For Kendal Ware, opening up Northern Lights Dance Academy in Perham is the fulfillment of a long-standing dream. Ever since she was in high school, Ware would tell people that she wanted to have her own dance studio in Perham.

After graduating from Frazee High School in 2002, Ware went to Minnesota State University-Mankato where she majored in business management with a minor in dance. Upon graduating from college this spring, she moved back to Frazee and set plans into action to open up her studio.

Ware is hoping that Northern Lights Dance Academy will attract a variety of students, no matter what their skill levels.

No dance experience necessary

"I want everyone to know that classes are open to everybody," said Kendal. "You don't need any experience to begin classes here."

Ware is offering classes for youth and adults. Youth may choose from ballet, jazz, tap, modern, or hip hop. Adults will be able to participate in jazz or tap. Eventually, Ware said she would like to offer classes where parents are able to dance with their children and perform at an annual recital.

This year, Ware is forming both junior and senior dance companies. Youth ages 9 through 12 will comprise the junior company and youth ages 13 through 18 will form the senior company. Both of these groups will compete at a competition in the cities next spring. Each group will be responsible for performing 2 dances (1 jazz and 1 lyrical) at the competition in addition to participating in various performances around the Perham area.

Spring recital planned

A recital is tentatively planned for some time in May where the youth and the adults attending Northern Lights Dance Academy will perform at a Perham venue. This event will showcase what all of the dancers have been working on. The public will be invited to attend this event.

With 13 years of dance experience, Ware is looking forward to sharing her passion and skills with others. She has experience teaching at Center Stage Dance Academy in Detroit Lakes, working with children during her time at MSU-Mankato, and instructing students in dance at a summer camp in Frazee.

Coaches dance team at her

old school in Frazee

Additionally, Ware is now coaching the Frazee High School Dance Team that she was involved with for 6 years during high school.

Classes at the academy will begin when school starts. There was an open house held at the Northern Lights Dance Academy on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.

The academy entrance is located on the north side of Ma's Little Red Barn. Prospective dancers will be able to register for classes, order clothes and shoes, and tour the studio at the open house.

While there is no specific dress code for dancers ages 9 and up, dancers ages 3-8 will need to wear pink tights and black leotards to classes. Eventually, Ware hopes to have some inventory in the studio, but for now she will be placing orders. Dancers are encouraged to take as many classes as they want, even just a single class. Classes are open to males and females.

Ware already has at least 25 students, but registrations are still being taken. For information, call 218-530-0030.

Tap dance her favorite

When asked what her favorite style of dance is, Ware said it is tap.

"You are able to make different rhythms," she explained. "You can make it your own." Her hope is that students who attend the academy will be able to use their imaginations and build creativity through their dance experiences.