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Photos/Video: Expressions Dance and Movement Center Grand Opening

Owner Darcy Fagerwold brings over 20 years of dance instruction to Carlton Oaks Plaza- which has become a hub of arts and culture in town.

As usual, I attended last week’s at that’s held every Thursday evening. It was a warm evening, and I stepped out to get a breath of fresh air and watch the work being done at the space next door, what used to be a bike shop.

The sign said “.” I was intrigued and walked over to talk to one of the men working on the outside.

“Our goal is to be open by Saturday,” he said, wiping his brow. He said his name was John King.

Turns out he is the father-in-law of the woman opening the studio.

“This is her dream come true,” King said.

Her husband and several friends were inside cleaning the windows and mirrors and polishing the wood floor.

“This is great. We need a dance studio like this around here,” I told King and went back to Friendly Grounds to listen to sing.

Two days later, on the hottest day of the year, I showed up bright and early to the of the studio, hoping King and the others had been able to finish up.

Sure enough, there was a swarm of people in front of the dance studio. Girls in flouncy skirts were running up and down the sidewalks trying on one of the headbands for sale at the tables. Balloons festooned the tables.

And I met Darcy Fagerwold, owner of the . She was at the front counter with Danielle Thomas, her office manager.

Darcy Fagerwold’s dance studio is just what the Carlton Oaks Plaza needed.

“This plaza is turning into quite the arts and culture place,” commented , Chairman of the .

True, what with Friendly Grounds next door, the studio for music lessons, a across the plaza, a a little further down. All that with to fuel up before dancing or kickboxing or playing guitar.

Fagerwold came up to greet me. “Bet you haven’t slept a wink,” I told her.

She shook her head. “But it’s worth it,” she said, mother of two girls and one boy.

Her husband Steve spoke up. “Neither one of us has slept much,” he said, smiling big.

Dozens of people came in with their children of various ages.

“Most of these kids I know through my teaching at Jean’s Studio,” Fagerwold explained. “Then when I decided I wanted my own studio, I worked out of Lakeside Middle School.”

Her students will have Fagerwold all to themselves. Many of them are returning, while others are brand-new. Peyton Eidsmoe, 10, has watched her sister Jordan, 14, blossom under Fagerwold’s tutelage.

“This will be Peytons’ first year,” said the girls’ mother, Jennifer Eidsmoe.  “She was into gymnastics for years, but is done with it now. She’s decided to dance with Darcy because of the way she is with the kids. She’s known her forever with Jordan.”

Jordan Eidsmoe said she had been dancing her whole life.

“Well, since four years old,” she explained. “This year I made it onto the varsity dance team at because of what I've learned from Darcy.”

Kathy Meadows, another ‘dance mom’, said her daughters Sara, 2, and Kelli, 11, will be taking classes with Fagerwold.

Sara has known Fagerwold for eight years from classes at Jean’s Dance Studio. Even her little sister has done some jazz dancing.

“She makes learning more fun,” Sara said of Fagerwold. “She lets you be yourself. ‘Express Yourself,’ she’s always saying.

“Like you’ll have moments where you can do whatever you want,” Sara said with a little twirl.

Sara and her sister Kelli, along with Jordan and Peyton scrammed up to their places behind Angel Walli-Villalobos, one of Fagerwold’s dance teachers.

“You ready for some hip-hop?” Walli-Vikllabos grinned, looking around.

Monty Palmer, who had done some of the donstructin work at the studio, was there with his twin sons Sam and Jack, 7. They were all ready.

So was diminuitive Faith Harshman, 4, whose mother Diana was sitting on the sidelines, cheering her on.

Walli-Villalobos cued up the music. The studio filled with the sound of clapping, cheering and stomping feet.

And the dance goes on.

Students at the Expressions Dance studio will present several dance numbers at the on Sept. 17.

The dance studio is located at 9225 Carlton Hills Boulevard, #28 in Santee.

Classes begin Sept. 6, check the media box for a class schedule.

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