By Charles Collier, The Denmark News

DENMARK—It’s hard to not have a skip in one’s step when living and working in Denmark. Starting this summer, a Denmark alumni will give kids all the more reason to “Do it big, do it right and do it with style” as the new Kaleidoscope Dance Studio at the intersection of Main St. and Wall St. is set for its first event on June 3.

Lifetime dancer Selina Ashton began teaching both competition and non-competition groups at the Manitowoc studio in 2001 after graduating from Denmark and in 2013 overtook ownership of the business. Having instructed her competitive teams to regional and national titles, Ashton is excited to be able to introduce all age ranges in Denmark to the beneficial effects dance has had on her personally.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without dance. It really boosts confidence, discipline and self-esteem in a lot of ways.” Ashton said.

Integrating both individual and teamwork skills, dance adds a well-rounded sense of achievement and fulfillment which prepares kids for the future.

“You have to wear certain attire, take care of your body, be a good teammate, make and accomplish goals, work hard, deal with disappointment all while making life-long friendships. The confidence they build is going to help in their future.” Ashton said

While there may not have been a dance room in Denmark for quite some time, the studio shows promise to stay anchored in a building marked by transient occupancy as interest and talent are in no short supply; the newest face in Denmark’s downtown has already hit the ground running with 50 students registered for summer sessions, exceeding Ashton’s initial expectation of 15 sign-ups.

When talking with Ashton, she said there will be a fall program for children as young as 18 months. Seeing my perplexion at what dance instruction for children so young would look like, she clarified the program as being an interwoven fusion of music, reading and minimal dances dubbed, “My Shadow and Me” which will feature a different theme every week.

Those interested in the studio or simply wanting to take a peak at the brightly-painted renovations of are welcome to do so on June 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for free classes and introductions to the new studio’s instructors.

“Most people here haven’t been in a dance studio, so this is a chance to stop in and see what we’re all about.” Ashton said.

Ashton, with the help of six teachers currently has 300 students in the Manitowoc location learning tap, jazz, ballet, pointe and hip-hop dance techniques. Two instructors will accompany her at the Denmark location teaching students from ages 2 to 18 with the possibility of competition teams in the future.

More information is available at www.kaleidoscopedancestudio.com.