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For many people, dance is a fun activity to express yourself. But for Bailey Jangula and her mom Jenny Samuelson, it’s creating a sense of home and community in Bismarck.
Jenny opened Let’s Dance Studio in 1989 at the age of 15 after her local dance studio was closing and her friends wanted a place to dance. After offering up her basement for a little while. more and more people started to come and it was no longer a suitable location. This is when the Let’s Dance Studio doors were opened.
Bailey grew up taking dance classes from her mom, competing all over the region. Once she graduated high school and wanted to continue pursuing dance, she packed her bags and enrolled in a year-long program in Las Vegas. After coming home for the summer, she taught some classes at her mom’s studio and fell in love with teaching. Bailey made the decision to stay and keep teaching with her mom.
“I basically created a position for myself that was hard to leave. Once you see the progress of the dancers and have that community surrounding you, it’s hard to say goodbye to that,” Bailey said.
That community has now become part of her family. Let’s Dance Studio is now run by Jenny, Bailey, Amy Mason, Tema Bold, Krysi Greff, and a couple of other older dancers.
“I have probably 10 cousins taking classes at the studio, so I don’t just work with my mom and aunt, but I also get to see and be a part of the growth of my own family members at the same time,” Bailey said.
I asked Bailey what it’s like working with her mom and what the studio means to her.
“It’s such a shared passion; all of our conversations revolve around dance and the studio and work, but our conversations don’t feel like work,” Bailey said.
This isn’t to say there aren’t struggles that come with a family-owned business. Bailey opened up about some of the difficulties there can be when operating a dance studio. “
The dance industry is really hard to be in, it’s such a niche. Bismarck doesn’t have a lot of industry professionals, so we really encourage our dancers to travel and compete all over. It’s good to get coaching from other professionals so they can get different perspectives and become the best dancers,” Bailey said.
Luckily, their team has a very talented ballet instructor, Tema Bold. Tema is from Mongolia but was raised in Russia from the age of 11. He trained at a ballet boarding school until he turned 18. While traveling with his dance team in the United States, he came across Bismarck and met Jenny. After deciding he wanted to settle down in the city, he joined the studio and has been teaching ballet classes ever since.
“We’re so lucky to have him, he’s so knowledgeable in ballet and really enjoys it,” Bailey said.
And speaking of enjoyment, I asked Bailey if she most enjoys teaching ballet or if there’s another class she likes teaching more.
“Technique. I think it’s almost like math in school, you can really structure it and see exact progress and how to manipulate your body. It comes so much easier when you start young because you’re doing the moves over and over,” Bailey said.
Through this passion for the sport, Let’s Dance Studio has created a wonderful, family-like community in Bismarck. Let’s Dance Studio offers various class opportunities for those ages 3 to 18, with special opportunities for caregivers and toddlers as well.
“The loyalty here is so strong. Our dancers feel like family to us, even their siblings will come to the studio to watch them dance or play with other dance siblings because the studio really is all about family,” Bailey said.
Outside of Bailey’s busy coaching schedule, she enjoys going to the gym, hanging out with her cats and her boyfriend in her newly built home and traveling. As far as the future of the studio, Bailey says they’re most likely to stick around Bismarck, with the possibility of other family members potentially opening a studio elsewhere.
“It really has become a labor of love for us. It’s hard to find people who care about the business as much as we do,” Bailey said. If you’ve been thinking about signing up for dance lessons or signing up your child, Let’s Dance Studio always welcomes new dancers to the studio. You can visit their website at letsdancestudio.com/contact or message their Facebook page to register.
Contact Let’s Dance Studio
Email: [email protected]
Address: 4600 N 19th St, Bismarck, ND 58503