As an eighth grader I transferred from Lou Ann’s Academy of Dance to Penni’s Studio of the Arts in Bloomer and this year Penni celebrated the 10 year anniversary of her studio. As many of you know, I have spent a great portion of the last six years in that studio and Penni and her staff have been a great influence on me as a person. Penni has presented me with so many opportunities over the years, including but not limited to allowing me to teach ballet for the summer (so if any of you are interested…). Being involved in dance was the best activity my parents could have signed me up for as a kid and I really do think it shaped me into the person I am today. Not only is dance an amazing creative outlet and social activity, it takes up so much time that there’s hardly any time to get into trouble, not that I ever would have. I had a parent tell me once that she would much rather pay for dance lessons than rehab, and although it may be extreme it got the point across. It kept me and countless other children busy and it was fun.
I could go on for years about dance and the different genres and the pros and cons of signing a child up for a life of mirrors and dance shoes but I feel like my time is better spent celebrating ten years of an influential piece of Bloomer, Wisconsin. As I said earlier, I switched to Penni’s studio for my eighth grade year, I came in with a solid foundation from Lou Ann but at Penni’s I was exposed to more teachers, more studio time, and a much shorter commute. It did not take me long to fall in love and completely immerse myself in the studio. My two best friends danced there first and before long that studio became most of my social life and I wouldn’t change it if I had the chance. One of the best things about Penni’s Studio was the other dancers, they taught me so much and pushed me so hard and I was able to work with so many talented children. The other dancers were such blessings, I love them and will always be so grateful for my opportunities to dance alongside of them.
Since my gangly eighth grade self set foot in the studio, I have grown as a dancer and as a person. Although ballet isn’t my main focus in life anymore, it’s still a huge part of who I am as a person and how I make decisions. It’s the part of me that signed up for a one credit ballet class and frequently visited Northrop, and the part of me that still gets assignments done fairly early because no one wants to stay up late after dance class, even though in college that is no longer a problem. Because of dance I was able to go to New York and stay in Milwaukee and make new friends, and those are opportunities you don’t get everyday.
All in all, I really want to thank Penni Asplund and all the time she has given to her students for the past ten years. It meant so much to me and all of your other dancers.