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Groovin' for 15 years

Melissa Grannis knew she wanted to own a dance studio, she just wasn't sure where. The South St. Paul resident said she did a lot of research on different communities around the metro looking for a place where she could grow.

After looking for a while she found Rosemount. It was a developing city that looked like it would keep growing for a while. So Grannis took a chance on a small town and opened Dance Connection in the old Rosemount Mall.

Fifteen years later Rosemount has certainly grown and so has Dance Connection.

"Every year goes faster than the last," said Grannis of her time in Rosemount.

Dance Connection offers a variety of dance classes for students of all ages at all ability levels.

The studio has more than 350 students from preschoolers to adults that take classes such as tap, ballet, hip hop and more.

Much has changed since the studio first opened, Grannis said. The biggest change was the studio's move five years ago. Grannis said she moved Dance Connection to a building she had built off of Carousel Way. It offered more dance floors and room for parents.

"It's been nice," Grannis said of the new studio space.

Like most things dance itself changes over time. To meet the needs of her students Grannis and her staff try to keep up on the most popular dance styles and techniques. She said hip hop has grown in popularity over the last couple of years.

"It's always changing," said Grannis.

Grannis said dance is a fun thing for kids and adults to do. She said it works on self esteem and gets people moving.

With her studio Grannis commits herself and her staff to making sure the students come out of it with a fun, positive experience.

To do that Grannis hires quality instructors and keeps prices affordable including costume prices. Also, Grannis said costumes and dances are age appropriate.

While it hasn't always been easy being a business owner Grannis said it is satisfying work. She said she enjoys teaching and getting to know the students.

"I love the families a lot and have some very involved parents," said Grannis.

After so much time in the community Grannis said kids she taught when she first opened the studio now are bringing their own children to her.

"It's neat but it really makes me feel old," said Grannis with a laugh.

Despite how Grannis might feel she brings a youthful energy to her studio. Grannis started dancing as a child at the local studio and fell in love with it. After dancing through high school she went on to major in dance at the University of Minnesota.

Because she liked teaching people Grannis said she eventually decided to open her own studio.

"It's a fun career," Grannis said. " I feel so blessed to gotten to know so many families."

Dance Connection will have its annual recital May 31 and June 1 at Eastview High School in Apple Valley. There will be four performances starting at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. both days.