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St. Olaf Grad Opens Downtown Dance Studio

Emily Boyd, who received a degree in dance from St. Olaf, started classes on Monday at Division Street Dance.

Emily Boyd leaned in ever so slightly.

“Are you interested in dancing this year?” she asked the 5-year-old girl who walked into the newly minted with her mother last week.

The girl hesitated.

“Do you like tap? Or ballet?” Boyd, undeterred, asked in an even softer voice.

“Ballet,” the girl shyly replied.

“That’s one of my favorites.”

A few minutes later the girl danced around the studio as if it was her own; her mother was busy signing the girl up for lessons.

The girl was one of many in a steady stream of students who have signed up for Division Street Dance. Boyd, who purchased the former Dance-N-Fitness last spring and rebranded it and remodeled the inside, started classes on Monday. Registration is open throughout the fall for classes that include tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern, Irish step dancing, ethnic, cheer, Pilates and creative dance.

For Boyd, who graduated from with a dance major and studied her MFA in dance at the University of Oregon, the opportunity to own a dance studio came at the perfect time.

Her daughter, Clara, turns 1 this week. Boyd, who had been working a 9-to-5 job, wanted to have more flexibility in her schedule and return to what excites her most in life—dance and sharing the love of dance. When her former dance instructor from Owatonna told her about the possibility in Northfield, she said it was too good to pass up.

“I’ve been dancing since I was 3, so it’s always been my biggest passion in my life,” she said. “The idea of having my own studio and being able to teach has always been a dream of mine.”

Boyd said Division Street Dance will offer smaller classes to allow for more individualized attention.

“Because I’m teaching most of the classes right now I’ll get to know each student and be involved in their dance education,” she said.

Boyd, who dances with the Ethnic Dance Theatre in Minneapolis, said competitions are not the backbone of her dance philosophy, rather she wants to focus on the learning of the art of dance and teaching good, sound technique.

She said classes are available for children 2 to 18 years old; there are also adult classes.

Back at the studio, the girl, with the urging of her mother, made their way for the front door.

But not before the 5-year-old broke out her chassé, a three-step move.

“You’re good at that,” Boyd said, reassuring. “I’m glad you’re going to be dancing with me.”

For more about Division Street Dance, check out its , its website and its Facebook page.

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