News Column

Dance Arts Center adding a location

August 28, 2014

By Jennifer Hall, St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

Aug. 28--A longtime dance company is expanding.

The Dance Arts Center is opening a second location in St. Joseph called The Annex. With dozens of classes each week for more than 400 children, Marla Heeler said it was time to add on.

"We've just been growing," she said.

The owner, and instructor, said the economy and the fact she has a staff of all adult teachers has made a difference. Classes are offered for children and adults from beginners through pre-professionals in ballet, jazz, tap, musical theater and hip hop. There are classes just for boys.

The school's current location at 1902 Jules St. will still hold many classes while The Annex, 2300 Frederick Ave., in Suite 200, will cater to mostly advanced students. About 150 kids will pass through the new building each week.

While the addition is big enough for the company to have its own waiting room and classrooms, Ms. Heeler said her business will occupy only a portion of the large building. The Annex will utilize 2,000 square feet of space in what once was Country Kitchen and then Basil's Italian Cafe.

"It made sense to rent instead of building on to our current building," Ms. Heeler said. "Growing is a great problem to have."

The Dance Arts Center was founded three decades ago by Lynn Fankhauser. Ms. Heeler, a student of Ms. Fankhauser, took over the business 10 years ago. She said in honor of its upcoming anniversary, the center will likely have a large alumni dance at the recital in June 2015.

There is an open house from 3 to 7 p.m. today at the new building. For more information, call 233-5442.

Jennifer Hall can be reached


Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPHall.


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Source: St. Joseph News-Press (MO)

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