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Northern Lights Dance Academy opens in Frazee

Kendal Ware opened the first business in Frazee's Swift Redevelopment Site last month with the opening of Northern Lights Dance Studio after running the business in Perham for the past three years. (Jason Adkins/DL Newspapers)

The first building in Frazee's Swift Redevelopment Site is complete with the opening of the Northern Lights Dance Academy in September.

"It was a really quick project," Northern Lights Dance Academy Owner Kendal Ware said.

Ware isn't a novice when it comes to running a dance studio. She operated Northern Lights in Perham for the past couple of years.

"I rented a spot in Ma's Little Red Barn," Ware said. "And I wanted to build something this year and we looked all over for spots to build. It just seemed to fit here."

The location on East Main Street is convenient for Ware as well since she lives two blocks away.

Having her own studio space is a plus, Ware said.

Besides additional floor space, she has a separate waiting room as well as office space.

"My old studio was only a little more than half of space in the actual studio," Ware said.

The waiting area is a great place for parents to watch their child, Ware said, as the dancers can't see into the lobby.

"It's definitely a lot bigger," she said.

Having a lifelong love of dance -- starting at age 10 -- Ware continued that love at Minnesota State University-Mankato where she majored in dance and business.

She was also a member of the Frazee Fly Girls dance team for seven years.

"I told my parents after my first class that I was going to be a dance teacher," Ware said.

With the change in location, Ware said that most of her students are from Frazee, compared to last year when there was a mix of dancers from Perham and Frazee.

"I have about 70 kids altogether right now," Ware said.

The move didn't cause much of a change in Northern Lights' enrollment as Ware said the numbers have held steady.

For students in Frazee, Northern Lights is a convenient after school option. A school bus drops off students right in front of the building.

"A lot of kids come on the bus for the first couple of classes," Ware said.

Some of the older students come later in the afternoon after they are done with sports practice.

Northern Lights offers a variety of dances classes, ranging from ballet, jazz, modern and tap. There are also two performances groups -- one senior and one junior -- for dancers to showcase their talents.

Ware teaches most of the classes, except for one taught by a cousin and another taught by a senior student.

Anna Aakre of Perham will teach a couple of clogging classes.

"A lot of the kids like the jazz," Ware said.

She said that ballet draws interest as well, because it serves as a foundation for jazz dancing.

Northern Lights Dance Academy is located 204 E. Main St. in Frazee just east of Frazee Family Foods.

More information is available by calling Ware at 218-530-0030.